Black Petals Issue #94 Winter, 2021

The Wish Tree
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BP Artists and Illustrators
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary-Chris Friend
Basement Dweller-Fiction by Justin Swartz
The Beating of Their Wings-Fiction by Brian Maycock
Does the Bogeyman Live Downstairs?-Fiction by Clive Owen Barry
Dark Little Boxes-Fiction by C. M. Barnes
Death by Midnight-Fiction by Charlie Cancel
Forearmed-Fiction by Jan Cronos
Inconceivable-Fiction by Rich Rose
The Wolf's Den-Fiction by J. B. Polk
Treachery-Fiction by Ramon F. Irizarri
Tumour Wakes Up-Fiction by Alexis Gkantiragas
The Opal Ring-Fiction by Michael Dority
Flora and Fauna-Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
Gnaw-Flash Fiction by Tony Kidd
Mad Money-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Madonna of the Damned-Flash Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Special Teeth-Flash Fiction by KJ Hannah Greenberg
The Death Set-4 Poems by Hillary Lyon
Five Haiku-Poems by C. D. Marcum
Misanthrope-Poem by Donna Dallas
The Wish Tree-3 poems by Christopher Hivner
Nebulous-3 poems by Juan Manuel Perez
The Sphinx at Night-5 Poems by Meg Smith
Nameless-Poem by David Barber

The Wish Tree

 

Christopher Hivner

 

 

 

The wish tree

is bearing fruit

again this season.

The corpses

of my enemies

hang by their necks

from the strong boughs

of the hundred-foot-high tree.

Each evening

I pick a fresh one

to throw on the fire.

I enjoy my supper

while the heat from their fat

warms my arthritic joints.

The smell of the rotting flesh

is made bearable

only by the blood wine

distilled from the sap of the wish tree.

The AB negative is dry,

O positive is sweeter.

When I go to bed

I am lulled to slumber

by the low moaning

of a ripening body.

I sleep like a baby

knowing the wish tree

is healthy and vibrant

and its fruit

is not.

 


 

No Home

 

Christopher Hivner

 

 

 

Tingling.

It always starts with tingling

in my fingertips,

tiny daggers pinching my nerve endings,

an alert

that he’s arriving,

through my door,

from under the floorboards,

inside my skin.

 

He was killed in a fire

when the house I now live in

partially burned.

The throat-clenching smell

of charred flesh

invades my lungs

as the blackened husk

that used to be a man

appears in front of me.

 

His fingers,

crisp sticks of charcoal,

brush my face

leaving a line of blood.

Empty eye sockets stare at me,

the dense darkness inside

pulls me forward,

hollows out my soul.

 

I have what he wants:

life, breath, choices.

In his body I see

the grotesqueness of death,

but in his movements,

a tilt of the head,

slumped shoulders,

I feel his yearning.

 

It always starts with tingling,

another sensation he cannot feel,

and ends with a rush

of frigid air

being sucked through my veins

as he backs away,

taking the grave with him.

 

 


Mom’s Atomic Supper

 

Christopher Hivner

 

 

 

signals

warnings

barriers

no way out

supper

late tonight

waiting

decontamination

meltdown

meat

burnt

alibis

allegations

no solutions

elbows,

all three,

off the table

say grace

peas glowing

can I be excused?

 

 

 

 

Christopher Hivner writes from a small town in Pennsylvania surrounded by books and the echoes of music. He has recently been published in Monomyth and Indiana Horror Review. website: www.chrishivner.com, Facebook: Christopher Hivner - Author, Twitter: @Your_screams

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