Cuddling that bright morning. Our relationship
had been called lovingkindness by Buddha himself
one ancient morning as the Morningstar appeared.
Like enlightenment, her eyes flashed,
kidneys failing: her urine ran clear like water.
My startled response frightened her.
Yet her eyes said, it’s okay,
see you next time my love.
Matthew lives in Maine. He still remembers the day his son called from school. His student teacher had brought three kittens in a cardboard box from her dorm. “Please, can I bring one home?”
The gunshot preceding the bullet ripping through his brain should have been the last sound Gary ever heard.
“Try again,” said a deep, booming voice.
Gary opened his eyes to blinding light. Almost as soon as he realized he was being born again he forgot everything that had come before.
Daniel Slaten writes short stories in small notebooks and on sticky notes.
If I come back as a ladybug, you once told me, be gentle. Try not to crush me, but if by chance you should, don’t grieve. I’ll keep coming back, you promised, time and again.
Now, as you cling to me, I turn leeward to shelter you from the wind.
Alex Markovich was a magazine editor at Consumer Reports before he retired. He lives in Ardsley, a suburb of New York, with Jackie, his wife of 54 years and his fiercest critic.