Creative Writing

Between Christmas and the New Year

(CW: Mentions of death)

the please-come-home-for-christmas radio, the fairytale-of-new-york radio, the ave-maria radio    

is a time machine is a corpse is just 

static in the air like damp pine needles and frost.

a stag is not a god. a god is not an animal 

staggering away from a festive-music-radio-corpse.

a stag is a deer with extra bones, a lucky strike,

a primordial lottery ticket like Christ strung up with thorns in his forehead.

the christmas card scene looks like leaf litter and rot

when you lose sight of the not-a-stag-and-not-a-god.

the season calls out:

congratulations, you are the newest lost wanderer! / welcome to the deconstructed nether /

you win / a self-examination / you win / a lump of coal and calcified dread / you win / 

the woods you grew up in, except the woods are all dead. 

the bones of your old pets shake at the bottom of the riverbed.

the willow weeps into narcissus’s pond dried-up to nothing.

this is mythologised apathy. a romanticised unbecoming. 

calamitous morning fog, sipping tea in the shadows, watching stags 

spring across your closed eyelids. you seek the sun, pitifully weak. 

you seek canines sharpened to jagged points.

the street-sick foxes eat scraps under bruised darkness

and you don’t think about the people in your house 

handing over the ragged parts of themselves in snowflake wrapping paper,

vacuous thoughts on winter nights itching beneath tinsel and tape.

you do think about the ghosts of all the animals 

you’ve seen haunting the side of the road in your race to get out,

trying to run from the inevitable countdown of a year gone by. 

maybe you’ve seen more birds flattened than flying.

hurt is never gilded.

the _________________________ radio, the _________________ radio, the ________ radio  is a _________________________


who turned the radio off?

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About Author

Ally Fowler

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July 2022
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