Better than Fiction! (creative non fiction)

Footnote to a Poem

by Taylor Gaede

 

I cut words from a poem. Took away the words I meant but could not give. These open hands could not bear the weight of his, Why would you write this?, and a sideswipe glare before he could even reach the end of the page. But when he finished—and he finished, his roving eyes finally stopping and lifting—he asked, “Why did you take things out?”

 

“How do you know if I did?”

 

“I can see the holes.” He gave me back the poem. “There’s something you want to say.”

 

There are words that do not belong to the greater whole. But, like energy, words cannot be destroyed. Although they are not written in the finished sentence, they once were. They leave behind phantom impressions, like a pen pressed too hard to a notepad, leaving remnants on future pages.

 

Putting the words back into the poem, I did not have to look at an original copy. The words still rambled in unspooled lines in my brain, still curled around the nerves in my fingers, which were prepared to type them again and again and again. When he reread the poem—once, then twice, eyes snagging at the places where words had been invisible until I illuminated them—he held the poem and smiled in a subtle, soft, private way.

“It’s good.”

 

I waited. “And?”

 

“And?” He shrugged. “I don’t know what you want me to say. What do you say to someone who wrote a poem for you—about you?”

 

“I don’t know. No one’s written me anything.”

 

A pause. A swarm of unspoken words fluttered between us—words I wish I could catch on paper, like butterflies in a net. Finally, he said, “I can’t write. I don’t write. But if I did, I would write you a poem.”

Taylor Gaede is a freelance writer currently living in South Florida. She has been previously published in Living Waters Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Freshwater Literary Journal, and The Stray Branch.

Archive of Better Than Fiction by issue

     July 2020     May 2020     March 2020     January 2020     November 2019     September 2019     July 2019     May 2019     March 2019     January 2019     November 2018     September 2018     July 2018     June 2018     May 2018     April 2018   

  March 2018     February 2018     January 2018     December 2017     November 2017     October 2017     September 2017     August 2017     July 2017     June 2017     May 2017     April 2017     

Archive of Fiction by issue:

     July 2020     May 2020     March 2020     January 2020     November 2019     September 2019     July 2019     May 2019   

  March 2019     January 2019     November 2018     September 2018     July 2018     June 2018     May 2018     April 2018   

  March 2018     February 2018     January 2018     December 2017     November 2017     October 2017     September 2017   

  August 2017     July 2017     June 2017     May 2017     April 2017     March 2017     February 2017     January 2017   

  December 2016     November 2016     October 2016    September 2016     August 2016     June 2016     May 2016

Archive of More Fiction by issue 

    March 2020     January 2020     November 2018     September 2018     July 2018     June 2018    May 2018     April 2018    March 2018     February 2018     January 2018     December 2017   

Archive of Flash Fiction by issue

     July 2019     May 2020     March 2020     January 2020     November 2019     September 2019     July 2019     May 2019  

  March 2019      July 2018     June 2018     

More Flash & Micro Fiction

     May 2020    

International Fiction

     March 2019    

Copyright  Better Than Starbucks 2020, a poetry magazine    

146 Lake Constance, West Palm Beach, Fl 33411    Phone 561-719-8627

Note to our Readers:

The best view of this site is rendered in Chrome.

Firefox sometimes renders unevenly.