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By Jen OConnor

PROMPT — If only ...

There have been billions.

Some as tiny as a pea pod,

some grown to the fish-like stage

where stumps of arms and legs begin to sprout.

What does it matter?

They never saw the dawn of our day.

We unraveled those shells

Freeing their spirits to soar away

to a place called the Nuosphere,

where these, the Neverborns,

float eagerly through light and air.

There is no time in the Nuosphere. No troubles.

No regrets about what they might have become.

Should we beg for their forgiveness?

For taking away their Right to Life?

Harsh laws will punish us now for that.

But the Neverborns forgive us all

the ignorant, the righteous, the newly criminal.

That is not life, these Neverborns tell us.

You would drag us into a world in chaos,

Then turn away, indifferent to our fate.

The life you offer is heartless. Keep it.

Here we are happy, say the Neverborns.

We love our mothers for deciding to save us.

Leave us be.


Jen OConnor’s poetry and fiction have been published in Two Hawks Quarterly, Saved Objects, Imagine, Iris Brown Lit Mag, Medusa’s Laugh Press, Persimmon Tree, Impossible Archetype (LGBTQ), London Journal of Fiction, American Writers Review, Sinister Wisdom (LGBTQ), Ravensperch, ImageOutWrite!(LGBTQ) and performed in spoken word events in Los Angeles. As a playwright: The Girl Who Would Be King was winner of Chicago’s LGBTQ Pride Films & Plays Women’s Words contest and is published and licensed by Stage Rights. Dressing Robbie Temple was semi-finalist in Ashland New Plays Festival and was recently awarded a reading in the #ShePersisted Festival of the LGBTQ Coalescence Theatre. Taken for a Ride was just published in Fresh Words Magazine’s Contemporary One-Act Plays, Volume 3. Gayby’s Playdate won the LGBTQ Festival in L.A. and was produced in South Korea. Jen holds an MA from St. Louis University and an MFA in Theatre from Southern Illinois University. She worked happily for many years as a writer at Walt Disney Imagineering in Los Angeles. She writes from Los Angeles, CA.


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