They’re Nothing But Ghosts by Kate Garrett

Clear spirits drained: what’s left for me? Distort sunsets through an empty bottle, sitting in this chair. A dried cicada husk, she’s picked me from the bark of the tree – gently, gently – and flicked me away, skipping my shell over the electric fence and into the paddock. Let them trample my snapped insides. I’m crushed into anthills, feeding grass to feed the cattle, my corpse a smear of ammonia and juniper, damned to these dreams of release. I’m gathering dust. She said I ruined her: calm, matter-of-fact. But who ruined who? My fermented blood formed a bullet in my brain, ricocheting through, over and again. It was never my fault. She wanted me to love her. She wanted. She didn’t want. The rising dawn kicks a hole in my skull. She wasn’t supposed to grow up. Her ice-pick apathy stings as the blood-bullet comes to a stop. I sit here. She’s long gone. The bottles are empty. They’re nothing but ghosts.

Kate Garrett writes poetry and flash fiction. Her pamphlet ‘The names of things unseen’ is part of Caboodle, the six-poet collection from Prolebooks. She is a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, and the editor of Pankhearst’s Slim Volume anthologies, and the webzine three drops from a cauldron. She lives in Sheffield.

Kate Garrett writes poetry and flash fiction. Her pamphlet ‘The names of things unseen’ is part of Caboodle, the six-poet collection from Prolebooks. She is a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, and the editor of Pankhearst’s Slim Volume anthologies, and the webzine three drops from a cauldron. She lives in Sheffield.

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