Three Pieces by Elia Lehman

Empty Stomach

“There’s a whole in my stomach.” He once said to me.
“It’s so big that when you eat, the food slides right back out of your gut.”
“Don’t be disgusting”
Mother would frown.
Mom told me he would be all right, but I could tell by her face she scared.
That night, under the covers I couldn’t sleep.
All I could see was him,
Eating dinner at the table with mom and me,
While the spaghetti slid in through his mouth
And out through the gaping hole in his stomach.
For breakfast we ate cereal with no milk.
Afterwards we watched cartoons until the front door screeched.
There was a shuffling of feet and mother came in with a few friends.
“Time for a nap,” they said to me, purses clinking.
My brother looked at me with an oozing grimace and pointed toward my room.
I went a lay down. “ What took you so long, “ I could hear my brother complain. “Don’t wine. Go get us some ice”.
Eventually the noise from the living room faded in a soft murmur as my eyelids finally closed.
The only sound I heard was my brother, yelling at mom.
He slept on the couch until early evening, squirming and moaning in his dreams.
I never saw the hole in his stomach, but mother gives him pills that help.
I guess they clog the opening for a while, than dissolve.
Often he just sleeps, clutching his stomach and moaning.
It hurts to hear him. All night. But sometimes morning doesn’t want to come.

After the moment passes

After the moment passes
And the rain has vanished into the sunlight
Ill still be sitting here, plunging,
Battling to grasp what lies inside my eyes,
Behind those fat leaking bulbs
Up to my elbow in stinging warmth
I rummage and tare out the darkness
Stuffed like a glove into the deep
I fish with my hand in through my red-rimmed socket
My arms submerged in the invisible goo
I will never see my insides alive
Unraveling the answers of what I am made of
My hand jammed in through my eye
Inside my skull I can feel my slippery brain
Mucus coated meat loaf
Exposed only to those who go soul searching
In the wrong place.
My fingernails catch on my nerves
Sending out electric centipedes
Their little legs are scalding pins tiptoeing just beneath the surface
Smother the embers before I ignite

I have seen creatures

I have seen creatures that have no name
They smile at me with fleeing gaze
Their eyes are on me
When their faces are turned
Their pupils stare inward and capture the darkness behind the eyes
They see only shadows
And the darkened shapes of myself

Is there a way to look past them?
I have not found such tranquil shores
The burning sand is still blackening my soles
Smell the crackling
Until it is extinguished by cold bone
Plowing downward through the flesh
Until my heels are gone

I will walk on pegged legs
Teetering on bony stumps
Sinking into the burning drifts
With each attempt to step
Balance is turned vertical
Sooner or later I will walk strait up
Until I am so far from the earth that downward is warped
Bent into a u shape ‘til upwards chokes on its serpent tail

Falling upwards
Is more helpless than falling down
Give me a rope to wrap around
The emptiness that haunts the piled corners
Of my flickering basement
Lights are dim

I need to take hold of something
But my fingers are nowhere to be seen
My clumps of meat
Smell like molten tar
They neither touch nor grasp
But itch with leprous incineration
My hands are stinging wasps
That blackens petals of color
In the silver gloom of midnight

I love my lil lady even though she makes angry
And maybe later we will be married
Im gonna splash her with some spring water

by Elia Lehman

Shift: Journal of Alternatives

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Alternative Comics: Message comics, political comics, all style no substance comics, psychedelic comics and comic art.