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In which Lucy, dying from a broken heart, explains why she didn’t leave behind her shadow near the boulder


This selection is part of NonBinary Review Issue #9: Sherlock Holmes/A Study in Scarlet. Get NonBinary Review #9 from the Zoetic Press website. 


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There are many omens of death in this town.

  1. A fancy circle which distances you inside the same spot and you don’t hear the nest of streams slip inside your pocket.
  2. A boy who blows too hard into a letter in order to master its small landscape.
  3. A small dimpled fist in an aquarium that folds a promise whenever it is hauled by a knife.

I took the toy coffin out when I realized you created me. Before I began to consider the damp blue veins you patted on my arms and body. Father, father, you scattered me on your fifty-two cards, taught me to settle blood bright on the shape of another finger. Remember when I sat down to braid the desert sand and you told me that I must always understand this kind of softness. How the men drowned the ceiling with their cigars. How you slipped arguments inside your pocket while my skin ended abruptly under their gaze. Know that the night remembers us only through the voice of crickets and a promise to wake up. When I will lie down, I will not hunt the ground that remembered your footsteps. How righteous it must be to burn the tongue to tell a story. I mean that there is nothing more obvious than a body returned to its original darkness. Be calm: even the leaves forget the names of the seasons. God knows you’ve disappeared me with much less.


SherlockShinjini Bhattacharjee’s work has been published in Cimarron Review, DecomP, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Red Paint Hills Poetry and elsewhere. Her chapbook There is No Way to Alter the Gravity for a Doll is forthcoming from dancing girl press. She is also the founding editor of Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal and Press