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An Outburst from a Desperate Soul

By Caroline Reddy

PROMPT—No one noticed ...

Your ashes drift

as I grip unopened letters

to my chest—

—you wrap

your last breath

around a shroud—

I hold my tongue.

Yours decomposes.

My core remains

as I liberate the infestation:

of thoughts—

I looked like a boy.

I was thirteen years old

when father’s words—

suffocated my embryo.

In your absence

the summer chills

kept me company.

I felt the shivers

in my throat—

so I left the symphony

and dreamt—

—of a tiny concertina,

to catch some loyalty.

I squeezed my graces

and invoked the opaque lamp

from an antique store


in the dim light

I soothed

my misfit tears.


Caroline Reddy's work has been accepted or published in Active Muse, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, Braided Way, Calliope, Clinch, Grey Sparrow, Deep Overstock, Fresh Wods Magazine, Indefinite Space, International Human Rights Arts Festival, Literary Heist, The Opiate, Quail Bell and Star*line, Journal of Expressive Writing, among others. In the Fall of 2021, her poem “A Sacred Dance” was nominated for the Best of The Net prize by Active Muse. Caroline was born in Shiraz, Iran and is currently working on a collection of poems titled, "Shake the Atmosphere to Reclaim an Empty Moment-a Collection of Healing & Transformation." She writes from New Rochelle, NY.


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