An old woman and an old man, battered
by the years, had slept together for a lifetime,
through dark nights of dreams. One night,
when tired and dry, the woman groaned, rolled
from bed and shuffled to the kitchen, her hands before
her in the dark, turned on the tap, drank
some water from a tumbler, placed the glass in the sink
and died, falling to the floor, never returning
to bed. In the morning, the man awoke to find
her side of the bed empty, the blankets folded
back. He called to his wife without reply.
Staggering from bed, he donned his robe and slippers.
In the middle of the bedroom, he paused, listened for the bustle
of breakfast preparation and heard nothing.
Remembering his hearing aids, he chuckled to himself.
In the bathroom, he peed and farted, washed
his hands, and poked his hearing aids into
his ears with stubby fingers. He lumbered down
the hall to the kitchen, where he found his wife,
partner of a lifetime, crumpled on the floor
like a pale moth. He said her name,
as though he might summon her to rise,
and then dropped into a chair beside her
and said nothing. I am alone, he thought
in the moment before he felt her presence. He gasped,
seeing her familiar form before him
even as he watched her empty shell on the floor.
Her smell surrounded him, the vibration filled
the room. “How could you leave me alone?”
he thought. “How could you go?”
“I have been with you for a lifetime,
but I have never known your mind,”
said her voice, like faraway static.
“I see you now,” she said. “All
the things you never disclosed. How
lonely I always was and how empty you
were.” The man sat quietly and said
nothing, for there was nothing left to hide.
Fishing in the Dark
Sitting on a shore
a still lake
the sun not yet risen
stars are still
in the sky
the placid water
my jacket I’m
the damp cold
beneath the smooth
surface the fish
in the sand
a mysterious world
I watch the glassy
where I cast
with a splash
the baited hook
I am alone
will I feel
on the end
of the line.
Wade Fox lives in Denver and teaches writing at the Community College of Denver. He is the founder of New Feathers Anthology, an online and print literary and art journal. A writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction,he has published poems in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Cabildo Quarterly, Datura Journal, Occam’s Razor, Littoral, and R.K.V.R.Y, and short stories in Occam’s Razor, The Corner Club, and Minimus. He has also written book reviews and cowrote a chapter in the book Blues: Philosophy for Everyone. As an editor, he has edited many authors, including, notably, George Harrison, JK Rowling, Vladimir Putin and Kamala Harris.