Aftermath

by Andreas Fleps

  1. The lemon-yellow sun squeezes its sour light
  2. on the open wounds of the living;
  3. delicious smelling and burning.
  4. In the night’s truth, the stars don’t even twinkle anymore,
  5. as if they too, have forgotten how to dance.
  6. A skull is another sky, and birds fall from our minds
  7. like ashen raindrops, as eyelids come down
  8. with the force of a guillotine, chopping off their wings
  9. with the blackness we can create behind our faces.
  10. What would a forest look like, if all the trees were afraid
  11. of the darkness they gathered hand in hand?
  12. It would look like us—the air a reminder that there is
  13. more life in our lungs than we know what to do with.
  14. When a wound cannot swallow your body,
  15. it swallows your soul instead, and isn’t it strange
  16. that we remember the pain of a breaking bone
  17. more than the countless hours we didn’t feel a thing?
  18. When we are anxious our hands have been known to go numb,
  19. as if snowfall were arriving from our fingertips,
  20. which means we can reach for joy, but won’t feel a thing,
  21. and what is stress but our bodies screaming it has no hands left?
  22. The aftermath: who can account for such times with words
  23. that won’t add up, and what other choice do we have but to
  24. shaft the tiniest of heavens, out of nothing good at all?


Andreas Fleps is a 28-year-old poet, based near Chicago. He studied Theology and Philosophy at Dominican University, and has appeared in journals such as ThePoet’s Haven, High Shelf Press, Snapdragon, and forthcoming in The Windhover. Battling Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder since the age of five, he translates teardrops.