Big Light on Double Bed by John Michael Flynn

Editor Matty Byloos, Fiction, June 20th, 2014

A trapezoid of margarine light shift upon and reshape the bed...

yellow light

Somewhere a man spanking his public says, “The choice of war is always a failure
because force is easy and the weaker opponent usually has one option
and cannot act independently.”

Time to watch
a trapezoid of margarine light shift upon and reshape the bed
in the room of this boarding house somewhere in the center of a country you no longer recognize as your own.

From a radio comes the muted trumpet of “So What” by Miles Davis and you never really hear the music only the light and splinters and sleep of your own sound, your breathing.

A season later you are inside Brahms in yet another country and all the windows are open to spring, and curtains billow knocking an old blue pill bottle off the sill.

It’s time to water plants, sweep a floor, take out the trash and rub ammonia with a sponge over all porcelain trappings. These little constancies must be done to endure adult life alone when it’s all you’ve ever known and you are passing through darkness where you desire to know more, someone else, her opinions, her music, her plants and the way she talks to them.

It’s no mistake
to be lonely or to want more than an empty cart and an insistent throb behind the eyes when you see your past as partly regrettable and partly inevitable, partly who you are and therefore transitional, hopeful and sometimes mordantly docile. Wintering along tolerating a job and the search for all the wealth that only other people seem to have, your life closing down into a four-walled hour, one after another and the wrinkles deepening, the flesh sagging, the hair thinning.

Comes the ambition to die with a few placid memories of a girl whose name you can’t remember, the one who first taught what an unselfish kiss could bring, or that hug from your mother after a performance that made her cry, or that first handshake from Dad that announced you ready to be a man.

Where do the people live who wander in and out of your lonely nights, one after another, week after week fearing, like you, their age, their losses, all news of a universe decaying at its core? Is it true you are one of them? Weren’t you a star once destined for fates celestial?

What has occurred here, stranger? There is a face in your eyes that you want to give away. There is a plant you want to grow. All the people you have let yourself know, suffer in their own shackles as you suffer. You cannot –

Quadrilateral                                                  we want our

                        Space                                                         politicians

                                                                                                to lie


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Writer John FlynnJohn Michael Flynn lives in central Virginia. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he has earned writing awards from the U.S. Peace Corps, and the New England Poetry Club. His newest poetry collection, Keepers Meet Questing Eyes, is due out this summer, 2014, from Leaf Garden Press. You can find him online at


Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born 7 days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of 2 books, including the novel in stories, ROPE ('14 SDP), and the collection of short stories, Don't Smell the Floss ('09 Write Bloody Books).