Later we questioned its existence
color of the walls
at that fragile hour
number of stairs and how many
we reached the top
Could finally end
the climb— sweaty with desire.
Free will, rain, darkness
but mostly exhaustion decided
Rather than others also open
to the street,
back then who bothered to lock up
despite weather, danger
on and off
receding sometime after dawn.
Escape— not your option
in this world or the nether-world
every possible glorious distraction.
More than once you’ve pushed back
the curtain of silence
startled by vast beauty and
hideous rot mingling,
within tight circumferences.
Nevertheless— you’ve taken your look
admitting it’s a hard choice.
Mulling over whether there’s a difference:
the suffering and the exultation.
Susan Tepper is a twenty year writer and the author of nine published books of fiction and poetry. Her most recent titles are the poetry book Confess (Cervena Barva Press, 2020) and the novel What Drives Men (Wilderness House Press, 2019). Tepper is an award-winning author with hundreds of stories, poems, interviews, essays and opinion columns published worldwide. Currently she is in production on an off-Broadway play that she adapted from one of her novels.
Digby Beaumont is an artist and writer living by the seaside in Hove on England’s south coast. A collection of his one-page stories, Dancing Alone and Other Lessons, was released earlier this year. “Thermaling,” a story from his collection, has been chosen to appear in the anthology, Best Small Fictions 2020. Digby has also published numerous English language textbooks with Heinemann and Macmillan, including international best sellers. An interview with him about his art, together with a showcase of some of his portrait work, feature in the November 2019 issue of Tupelo Quarterly.
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