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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Christopher Hivner: Plate Tectonics

Art by Bernice Holtzman © 2023

Plate Tectonics


by Christopher Hivner



The shift was soft

at first,

the movement underfoot

sent small shudders

beneath my skin.

The quiet from her space

registered as

a temporary misfire

after years of test work.

I walked room to room

not seeing the cracks

in the foundation,

not feeling the pressure building.


Time became unbearable,

words were eaten

and swallowed

with a dry mouth,

silence tethered us

with wire

pierced through our lips,

drops of blood

running along the metal brace

to meet in the middle

and fall to the floor.


The rupture that knocked me down

came when she spoke

so matter-of-factly.

As our chain snapped back in my face,

dead words

dropped from her mouth.

I fell

into an open crevasse,

her voice

chasing along behind.

Plumes of ash

sprouted into the air

obscuring her face,

rumbling like a derailed train

closed around me

but when she spoke again

the words still got through.


We settled

as the sun went down,

me here,

she out in the fog.

I scavenged in the rubble

for a list of days,

finding solace

in my position

as King of empty space

where the doors stay shut

to hide my body,

wrapped in bloody wire,

her words

still singing

in the vibrations.




Christopher Hivner writes from a small town in Pennsylvania surrounded by books (a little bit of everything) and the echoes of music (mostly hard rock/heavy metal and blues). His horror/dark fantasy poetry collection, Dark Oceans of Divinity, was recently published by Cyberwit.net. Facebook: Christopher Hivner - Author, Twitter: @Your_screams

Bernice Holtzman’s paintings and collages have appeared in shows at various venues in Manhattan, including the Back Fence in Greenwich Village, the Producer’s Club, the Black Door Gallery on W. 26th St., and one other place she can’t remember, but it was in a basement, and she was well received.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications © 2023