issue twenty-five

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(485 words)
David Woodward
Temporary Lives
part i.

I'm walking through a field of wildflowers. I'm free. What held me tight is gone. You. I have a new purpose. Me. I commune with a past self. Youth and unconsciousness. I'm about to split at the seams like an old desiccated desert seed; I need fire. I blossom.

tell me more.

part ii.

I dreamt I was in a meadow.

are you alone?

I believe I was surrounded by daisies. Yes, daisies. Believe.

how old are you?

I must have been a young woman, not yet twenty.

what else?

I think…


I think I was falling apart.

how so?

Pieces. My supposed parts were drifting as I floated further into the supposed ether.

who are you now? what surrounds you?

I am this dream. This memory is all that is here.

memory or dream?

I remember the soles of my feet were filthy. It connected me to…

yes, yes…

To what was going to become.

and what be-came?

The separation. I became earthier, soiled, more and more connected to the separation.

the separation?

Of matter. Solid things unravelled and I could feel every tissue, every molecule, every atom as separate and knowable identities. It was as if every electron that orbited my nuclei were attached by a string and if I pulled on the strings…

yes, yes…

I could make them perform.


Music. A dance of sorts perhaps. I don't know exactly. It was a sensation of separation and…



i see.

Do you? Do you see the freedom? The type of freedom that comes attached to loss. That lives in an indifferent September wind. Comes and goes, comes and goes, comes and goes and finally comes no more. And where you are, where you are left, you know not a thing except all these pieces lying at your soiled feet. Do you see this?

is this your idea of freedom?

It comes when you least expect it. It comes attached to not only a loss but to a possibility. And yet it might never come if a key piece is blocking the way to…

yes, to…?

To me. To a new me; a me more in control; a me capable of letting go of… control.


To be able to let go to the wind, to the very earth that holds too tight, my soiled soles the only connection to the past that was destroying the potential new me.

where are you now in this present state?

It's gone now. The present never really existed anyway.

so you are…

I'm still in the meadow, eternally young. And hopeful.

part iii.

A hand reaches out to touch her shoulder. Daisy flinches and runs, runs, drifting higher, higher…

The field is free. The flowerheads fill the meadow with memory, dreaming-up the next victim that will ascend beyond what form deceives. And the next form: a mere phase, perhaps a lie.


M  C  R

This work is copyrighted by the author, David Woodward. All rights reserved.

Artwork by
Eulalie Varenne