Icarus Bystander


by A. Martine

I call people, listen to them talk
contribute nothing, hear them asking
how my day has been, how goes it all
and I contribute nothing. I would
much rather hear them talk over me
want to be walls people can step on
want to be cracks people don’t sidestep
want to be windows barely glanced at
so I call and contribute nothing

I feel safe talking to drunk people
who won’t remember what I tell them
days and days after it has all passed
I can unveil the chapters of my
dysfunction, and they will read them out
page by page like children, excited
to be offered a book of their own
be it one they barely understand
they coo and slur, and I indulge them

People with interesting stories
spill out, out over the rest of us
they make us question all our morals
what we wouldn’t do to get a taste
of that old “I, too, have been, have seen”
they render us anxious and ashamed
as much as they, too, fascinate us
what I wish I feasted on: hope, love
I heave out instead that muted hush


About the Author:

A. Martine is a trilingual writer, musician and artist who goes where the waves take her. She might have been a kraken in a past life. She’s an Assistant Editor at Reckoning Press and a Managing Editor of The Nasiona. In addition to her own website, some of her fiction, nonfiction and poetry can be found or is forthcoming in: The Rumpus, Medium, Lamplight, TERSE. Journal, Confessionalist Zine, Truancy Mag, RIC Journal, Metaphorosis, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Ghost City Review and Gone Lawn. You can follow her @Maelllstrom.