The on-line magazine of short fiction and poetry.


This Misspent Requiem


Patrick M. Tracy

We are at the doorways
of truth

We foolish and insubstantial

We who are known best for
our shortcomings

We who have claimed such
paltry wisdom

We who shiver at the

Holding wilted flowers and
hackneyed verse

Two degrees above absolute
zero within our worn-out
shoes and catchup stained

We the chosen, who have
lost our reckoning and
been given up for gone

Who are blooded on the
altar of fading memory and
bound to all that once
was, as it aches us like
missing teeth

We, the dreamer's dream.


I have borne witness to it--

the ephemeral disasters of
dreams colliding, of substance
mixing, of solids reaching
into other solids, infinitesimal
elements that seem obdurate
to the observer, but are merely
plastic, fragile clouds,
uncounted constellations of
theoretical bodies tethered
like ships to a buoy in a
harbor that is only imagined


You have asked yourself the question
and feared the answer

You have called out,
miserable in the night,
twisting in your sweaty sheets
or kneeling at the bedside,
terrified that you already
know the truth but cannot
accept it

You have ground your teeth
downward in the merciless
light of the afternoon,
growing more sure that
your existence has arisen
from the haze of the
unknown and has flown
outward over the uncharted

perhaps meaningless

likely unmarked

assuredly unappreciated.


If what seems so solid to us
is a reflection of a reflection,
an echo of a whisper, a dream
within a dream, what happens
when the dreamer awakens?

Will we survive the violence
of the dawn, the sudden dissipation
of the darkened domains where we
have toiled, or will we be disjoined,
the binaries of our existence overwritten
with the galactic zeros of sudden,
irrevocable truth?

Cut free from the tethers of the dust
from which we arose, will we prove to
be more than grit and ash upon the
brow of the world, or will


and wind

and a lonely darkness above the waters

be all that shall remain?