MAYHEM - Issue Four

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Karl Guethert

Walking Sideways

The young woman
grips an empty baby carriage.
Placental ghost tucked
under the blanket.
A statue glare rides her eyes.

There’s a restricted area road cone
half submerged
in the lake.
Forbidden access.
Authorised personnel only.

She throws her corsage
into the algae
drenched water.
It floats near living.

Her beer and pretzel husband
takes their fridge to the curb.
Writes Working Well on the door.
Leaves it for the rain.

Her blank
eyes
speak of the umbilical
secret she shares with her
midwife.
Every third footstep sinks her heart
backwards
through her marrow.

A shattered ceramic Buddha
huddles in the gutter
while A Hard Day’s Night plays
for sweat-beaten road-workers.
They scratch their arms
and shrug
boredom into their bones.

Half-hearted cat calls follow
through the front door.
Down the hallway
of smiling photographs of
lost family
to the kitchen where they fill
the wine glasses.
She drinks them down
to slosh
where she is numb.

Contributor's Note
Karl is a graduate of Waikato University, currently awaiting graduation for his Masters in English. Writing is in his blood, which is concerning because he often bleeds ink...