Lost-and-found office

2013 // Katrin Alvarez

After examining a torn fingernail, the official suddenly looked up and regarded me with an expression of utter boredom. "What can I do for you?" It sounded like he was reluctantly having to squeeze out each word through the gaps between his teeth.  "I'd like to register something that's gone missing," I said. "I've lost my life." The official's expression changed within a split second. Boredom was replaced by blind panic. "Another weirdo. Like the madman who recently walked into the job...

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The little good deed

2011 // by Katrin Alvarez

The idea came to mind one daya good deed to do.A little good deed that neither boastsnor causes shame.And thus began the Will's difficult endeavorof impregnating heart,with those gentle "One-coulds!" and "One-shoulds!"till the heart was softened.The little good deed grew in that heart.But upon drawing its first breath it knewit could not flourish on such shallow soil.To the right, sluggishness took hold,broadly smiling under heavy eyelids.To the left, crouched cowardice, drab and grey.And...

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Prayer from an unbeliever

2011 // by Katrin Alvarez

What is it You want? You there,the God who probably doesn't exist at all,even though I'm pestering Him anyway.Just leave me the one who is mine,just leave me this one single person!When You're bored with the world,You allow entire peoplesto be drowned, gassed, tortured or starved.So just leave me the one who is minejust leave me this one single person!How about a little wager with me, God?I'll bet that You'd have no fun at allwith my special one!This is a person who could cause You troubleup...

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Give us a kiss...

2011 // by Katrin Alvarez

My mother would have much preferred a parrot, but she gave birth to me instead.For a while she kept up this hope, eyeing me closely each morning for any sign of feathers. Was my  skin turning downy after all?And it certainly wasn't easy to find ever larger cages for me. I simply grew and grew and grew.During the daytime I'd usually squat on aperch and recite the phrases drilled into me:"Give us a kiss! Mother dear, give us a kiss!"At night she would cover my chatter with a cloth.One...

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Speechless

2011 // by Katrin Alvarez

He awoke one morning to discover a half-opened mouth in his right hand. He carefully held his fingers apart, not wanting to harm its faintly pulsating lips.How gross! But what a story! What journalist wouldn't rub his hands at this opportunity? He grinned broadly at the inapt metaphor. This really was something strange – much bigger than anything in his sleazy little gossip column. It was a scoop, a sensation, definitely a headline grabber.Maybe the police had long been notified. Maybe...

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Intent

2011 // by Katrin Alvarez

By chance caught up in the vibrations of a burst of banal laughter and left cowering in pain.   No longer even able to bear the force of a normal glance that bounces off me neither disapproving nor affirming.   I must do something about it.   Because once ejected from my own centre, the fear will take hold, encroaching from all sides and entangling me.

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