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Bernice Holtzman: Everything Is the Same

ym_94_everythingsame_hlyon.jpg
Art by Hillary Lyon 2022

Everything Is the Same

 

by Bernice Holtzman

 

 

The room is quiet, like yesterday. The shadows fall in the same way, making the same shapes, as familiar as the furniture. The sheets still feel cool, the walls are still blue, the plant on the windowsill still leans toward the sun.

His leaving had no significance at all.

Everything is the same.

The curtain ripples from the breeze, the way it always does. He wouldn’t be here at this time of day. He would be working. The floor still shines from the wax. Its wooden boards are still different shades. Later he would be with the girl, whose name she knows but won’t bring herself to say. The sheets are still white. She didn’t think he’d leave.

The walls are still blue. The vase is still ceramic, with painted tulips. Except for a hairline crack, from the impact—that would have to be fixed—it looks the same.

The walls are still blue, with dark red speckles.

She didn’t think he’d leave.

The floor is still different colors, and now it has one more. He is still here.

Everything is exactly the same.

 

 

1999 Bernice Holtzman

 

Bernice Holtzman is an author of poems, short fiction, autobiographical pieces, two (so far) children’s stories, and all manner of clever commentary. Her work has appeared in The National Poetry Magazine of the Lower East Side. That was 30 years ago, and she’s still talking about it.



Hillary Lyon is an illustrator for horror/sci-fi and pulp fiction websites and magazines. She is also founder and senior editor for the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. An SFPA Rhysling Award nominated poet, her poems have appeared in journals such as Eternal Haunted Summer, Jellyfish Whispers, Scfifaikuest, Illya’s Honey, and Red River Review, as well as numerous anthologies. Her short stories have appeared recently in Night to Dawn, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, Sirens Call, and Tales from the Moonlit Path, among others, as well as in numerous horror anthologies such as Night in New Orleans: Bizarre Beats from the Big EasyThuggish Itch: Viva Las Vegas, and White Noise & Ouija Boards. She appeared, briefly, as the uncredited "all-American Mom with baby" in Purple Cactus Media’s 2007 Arizona indie-film, "Vote for Zombie." Having lived in France, Brazil, Canada, and several states in the US, she now resides in southern Arizona.  https://hillarylyon.wordpress.com/                                    

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2022