For weeks after the collision, you’re jarred by metallic notes. Snap hooks on flagpoles. Spoons in mugs. Uncapped chair legs scraping floors. When asked you tell the story fast, run naked through recall brush. A foggy dawn. Vamping streetlights. The hard-brake slide. Then the climax, a one-trick plot: train crashes into pickup. Your first audience flees from the rush of steel. Later you slow the tale down, add animation and sound, and the voyeurs stay put. Some flashbacks are like that—better in the retelling. Others nag from below, bob to the surface during REM. You try to drown them, shove die-cuts overboard, but the letters swim back to the composing stick.
Maureen Kingston’s poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in B O D Y, Contemporary Haibun Online, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Maudlin House, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, and Unbroken Journal. A few of her poems and prose pieces have also been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart awards.