Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy #NationalPoetryMonth. Franetta McMillian's #prosepoem "Paradise"

FRANETTA MCMILLIAN has been writing ever since she learned how to hold a pencil. She has published a number of zines including LILY ON THE BEACH and ETIDORPHA. Her short stories, poetry, artwork and essays have appeared in THE BROADKILL REVIEW, DREAMSTREETS, GARGOYLE, POSSUM GARAGE PRESS and several other little magazines. She splits her time between Newark, DE, Avondale, PA, and the perfect world in her head. She started writing the stories in LOVE IN THE TIME OF UNRAVELING the day after Deepwater Horizon blew. Drop her a line at


I don’t believe in Paradise. I’m wearing this vest because I’ve tried to talk to you several times, but you never listen. Death is the only language you understand and even to it, you’ve grown mostly deaf. All of our gods are drunk with the blood of martyrs. More carnage just belabors the point. But this is the loudest I can make my body shout and I desperately want you to hear me.

It’s not just the shrapnel that will kill you. It’s the force of the blast sucking the air from the bus that will flatten your lungs like a pancake. X-rays will reveal a large white butterfly, faint as a whisper, floating in your chest. I am a dervish. I am a dervish spinning a cyclone of butterflies. This is the mantra I will chant in my head as I pull the chord.

After this there are no virgins. After this there is only shredded flesh, chips of bone, and the taste of my raw blood on your lips. After this you and I will be little more than rumor. But I will have spoken and with your last breath, you will finally know who I am.

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