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memento mori

Marci Payne


the coffee scoop

It’s ordinary…

mundane, absolutely nothing special.

Part of a set that was purchased in the late 80’s

or early nineties would be my guess.

This brown, plastic 1/8 cup scoop

that came to symbolize our every morning

spent sharing coffee

no matter if we were 12 inches

or 1,200 miles apart. We always had coffee.

It is special because he sent it to me

in a care package when I was aching for him.

I still ache for him,

so it’s my coffee scoop until my dying day.

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Y’all, we’re gettin’ hitched proper this time!

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Liturgy of the Hours

every night you were away

i sought you out

through blackberry bramble ether

from weeping constellations above dixmyth avenue

to jessamine county barns filled with horse hay

perpetually wrapping blue ribbon around my finger

whispering vespers

my plea to the particles of the universe

to hold you together

to bring you back from oblivion

as you had done for me

you are my chosen family

inextricably part

of my thunderous heart

to which you will always hold the latchkey



cupping my hand behind

the meager flame he was

i happily blew him out

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

jesus flew in coach, asshole

how i fucking wish
i had a religion
a guidebook
candles to light
quaint beads with which i could
wrench my hands in fervent prayer
wine and unrisen bread
for a risen christ child
at this point i could welcome
a faithful imp or lesser demon
but no
here i sit
with all these science and philosophy classes
in my past
so all i’m left with
is bourbon
and a nagging sense of reason

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

wiping the war paint from her face

from the next room you can hear
zz top waiting for the bus
and jesus just left
as she bends at the waist
two shots deep
over her dual sink vanity
chrome swans bringing forth water
at the wave of her hand
mirror caressing bare shoulders
bra burned for the day
barefoot on sage bath mat
spaghetti strap t-shirt remains
she begins to take comfort in her ritual
wiping the war paint from her face
with a warm wet cloth
she applies witch hazel
and an organic hawaiian
monkey torture free moisturizer
bottled at the source
between the muscular thighs
of almost samoan men in grass skirts
she smiles knowing
she’s polishing the brass on the titanic
that wrinkle free faces are mythology
head rising to meets her own gaze
having survived another day
with a poet’s heart beating inside her