Yellow Mama Archives

Christopher Hivner
Adhikari, Sudeep
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The Perpetual Motion Machine



Christopher Hivner




Lying rigid,

the good little soldier,

she waited

for him to finish

and roll off.

He starts to

smack her ass

as he plows through her

like a train

late for the station.

She looks into his

cold, dead eyes,

black diamond mirrors.

She looked old,

too old to still have

her legs in the air

for him.

But who is she then,

if not his wife?

Not a mother,

no children.

She never liked being

a sister or daughter,

not in her family.

He grunted.

The smacks were harder,

her skin felt hot.

Was it still her skin

or was it his now?

She tried to protest

but he didn't hear

or didn't care.

His hands moved over her breasts

pinching and pawing.

She was getting tired,

why did it always

have to hurt?

He finally came,

unloading sloppily

inside of her

and over her thigh.

His eyes shined

shaking hands

with his smile,

a reptilian circle.

She lay still,

waiting for him to get off

but he just stared at her,

as though he knew

what she

had been thinking.





Facts about Bones


by Christopher Hivner



Bones are alive

when covered

with skin


Bones remain

after the muscle and flesh



Bones tell stories

when found

by educated hands


Bones are delicious

in my soup

when I’m done with the bodies


Bones have to be

buried deep

so the police can’t find them


Bones of my victims

want to be found

but I am their master




More than Oxygen


By Christopher Hivner



It lay on the spoon,

flattened by her finger,

white flecks

that she needed

more than oxygen.

Her dry tongue

flicked between her lips,

a half-dead snake

anticipating nirvana.

She flicked her lighter,

moving it under the curve

of the utensil

but it didn’t look right,

the fire

not the right color

and then she saw a figure

in the flame

that glowed white

and hissed,

the face was featureless

but she heard it speak:


She closed the lighter,

the spoon shaking

in her other hand,

her life’s blood

spilling onto the table top.


the flame sparked once more,

this time though

the figure undulated

in dark waves,

leaping at her

and laughing:

“It’s all you have.”

She closed the lighter,

laying the spoon down

before she dropped it.

Trembling, she caressed

the silver casing

of the lighter,

then opened it part way.

The flame was compressed,

wiggling for freedom

to grow,

reaching for the spoon

to do its job,

but around the eager

black flame

was wrapped a straining

white arm of fire

holding it back.

She lay down on the sofa

holding the lighter close,

ignoring her spoon,

denying the white net.

She closed the top,

opened it again,



dazzled by the leaping flame,

orange, yellow, red, blue,

each color whispering to her.

She held it

under her hair

singeing the dirty blond ends,

the crackle

alighting in her ears,

the acrid smell

swelling in her nose.

She moved the lighter

up and down her cheek,

the flame

swaying to and fro,

licking her skin

with heat

and pain.

She closed the lighter,

opened it again

to be attacked

by her new lover

who she needed

more than oxygen.



Out of Love


by Christopher Hivner




The voice is muted in her head,

she's turned the volume off.

She watches the veins throb,

middle of his forehead,

spittle flies from

fleshy, feminine lips

and hits her on the neck

like a wet kiss,

the kind her boyfriend

gives her

while slamming her

from behind.

Her father's finger

wags closer and closer

to her nose

and her face tightens,

waiting for the

inevitable smack.

She drifts off

dreaming of doing something nice

for her man.

A vision forms

and she smiles just enough.

That earns her

an openhanded crack

across her jaw.

"What are you smilin' at?"

The remote's been broken,

the volume is back up.

Father's corpulent frame stands erect,

his hands fidgeting around his pants.

She thought for a moment

the belt was coming off.

That could mean any number

of very bad things.

But instead he goes quiet,

"No 14-year-old is going to fool me"

and then he's gone,

getting soft in his dotage

she guesses.

She's not even bleeding.

It's time to go,

boyfriend is waiting.

He'll make it all better.

When he hits her

it's out of love.



by Christopher Hivner



Dad never showed up,

I waited

but he was at home asleep.

There were no more

Saturdays together

after that,

my theory

of who I was

got rewritten that day,

my solar system

was reduced,

my orbit made tighter.


The teacher told my mom

I was a loner

who would never amount to anything.

I thought

I was just a shy kid,

turns out

I was pegged

by the age of 10,

a lonely rock

adrift in space,

not the right size or shape

to be anything in particular.


I took my demotion in stride,

eight years later

graduating with honors.

I’m told Dad was there,

he left

before saying a word to me.

I passed him

in my orbit,

his world

looked dark and void.


My system expanded,

a lover at my side,

a woman to understand,

a mate to build with,

a satellite

in my sky.


Dad died,

the lover cheated,

telescopes searched

for me

but I was hidden

among the gasses,

expelling my outer shell,

diminished to my core,

let me alone,

let me spin,


until the red shift.


Continuing my search

to this day,

broke free from others’ gravity

to drift,

the answers

are in the stardust

that forms us,

I run my hand

through the silt

and wonder.



by Christopher Hivner



your words don’t deflate me because

I can see them for the worms they are

squirming through holes in your teeth

and the waste they leave behind stays

on your tongue to ferment into larvae

that feed from your saliva, growing

long and thick before spilling out of

your mouth, a dead thing no one trusts

Waiting for the Black


by Christopher Hivner



Hand on the doorknob

waiting for the flames

that don’t just burn

but consume

in black glory,

but the steel

remains cold.

Still, I don’t

open the door,

deciding instead

that the fire

will find me eventually

and I prefer that

to my future.




Smiling Faces


by Christopher Hivner



Smiling faces

look back at me

from the picture

and I know

how I will bloody

each one.

I have a jar

to collect the teeth in,

paraffin wax

to pin the lips, noses and ears to.

I have a skewer

for the eyeballs

but best of all

I have a helium tank

for the faces

to make balloons

for handing out

at the Thanksgiving day parade.

Balloons for the kiddies,

balloons for the kiddies,

to create

more smiling faces.






by Christopher Hivner



It’s a lure to the depths

but you don’t feel the danger.

Dimples of light sparkling off the waves,

act as flirtatious winks,

kisses from soft lips to the nape of your neck.

The sudden need for more from your new lover

leads you to the water’s edge,

foam lapping at your feet, sucking on your toes.

Farther in you wade,

the warm ocean swallowing your body,

tasting flesh, mixing salts,

bringing you to life with sensual rhythm.

The tingles you feel

must be the work of the ancient sea,

it couldn’t be

the teeth

of a prehistoric beast breaking your skin.

The feeling between your legs

must be a knowing tongue

not a tentacle

from the silty floor reaching inside of you

to extract what it needs to feed.

You are positive of the devotion

of your new lover

until the moment your blood

becomes your bath

and you are greeted by your insides

floating on the surface around you

bobbing in rhythm

with the light-dappled waves.




Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2018

A Song of Vengeance


by Christopher Hivner



I walked on fire

to reach the outstretched arms,

but the flames

took its price

in flesh.

Stripped to muscle and bone

I reach for my love,

my only family,

but my welcome

is rescinded.

Am I too ugly now

to love?

Was my worth counted

only by my pelt

taken by the fire below?

The outstretched arms

that beckoned from

the other side of the chasm

between us

now hang down,

flaccid and pale,

while I bleed

onto the holy soil.

I take a step forward

and my future

slips further

into shadow.

I walked on fire

to reach nirvana

only to be rejected.

Where do I go now?

I choose to go forward,

toward my former beacon,

my own flayed arms outstretched,

blackened fingers

balled into fists,

bloody tears in my eyes,

a song of vengeance

in my heart.



Art by Cindy Rosmus 2018

Digging Season


by Christopher Hivner



The world spun under me,

the bones of others

past and further past

moaned in song

trying to tell me a secret.

Tell me a lie or a tale,

prevaricate or equivocate,

but don’t tell me your secrets.

Pile the dirt high

to cover your sins,

hide each black mark

with the verve

of a king holding court.

Don’t tell me your secrets,

or I’ll have     

to tell you mine.

Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2018

Sometimes the Light Is My Enemy


by Christopher Hivner



The rain fell in gray sheets,

I stood under it to capture

as much as I could

to use when I am lonely

in the sun.




Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2019

Lessons Learned


by Christopher Hivner



How many times

have I thought about you?

The tilt of your smile,

the exactness of your eyes,

the way you screamed

when I closed the door

on the box.

You didn’t know it

but I was watching

by remote camera

as you pounded your fists bloody

on the splintered lid.

I found myself

losing breath

along with you

as you suffocated.

You thought I didn’t care,

that’s why you called me

those bad words,

why your eyes bled

while you wailed

my name.

You were punishing me

because you believed

I didn’t care.

When you took

your last breath

I saw the sadness

in your eyes

at how I had

disappointed you.
That look haunted me.

I’m much more caring now

with my girls.

When the light

leaves their eyes,

they pass softly

knowing they were loved,

thanks to you.




Christopher Hivner writes from a small town in Pennsylvania surrounded by books and the echoes of music. He has recently been published in Grievous Angel, Blood Moon Rising and Weird Reader. A collection of short stories, The Spaces Between Your Screams, was published by eTreasures Publishing. website:, Facebook: Christopher Hivner - Author, Twitter: @Your_screams

Ann Marie Rhiel is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her passion for art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography. Her work has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.

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