This poem was selected as a winner of Alan Squire Publishing's April, 2021 National Poetry Month Contest after prompts created by Rose Solari.

As days ripened, he worked in silence - his eye
on the weather, a daily walk with his dog, until he saw

a girl greeting the Pacific – her frock peculiar pink
fanned out on the sand, her face

moon-washed against a water-lapped sky.
Such was the freshness – he felt born quaking

with anticipation nudging the dog leash, flashing back
to the smell of mothballs

of his grandma's mittens, the tang of garlic on his
mother's fingertips, mouths honey-glazed of long-legged women

who cupped his face and left him
like a wick darkened in the aftershock of a gust

a prairie of hurt not letting him confess that he’d always
need a woman to rein him in, to help him grow old.

And watch him die on a quiet summer evening.

Tara Isabel Zambrano

Tara Isabel Zambrano is the author of Death, Desire And Other Destinations, a full-length flash collection by OKAY Donkey Press. Her work has won the first prize in The Southampton Review Short Short Fiction Contest 2019, a second prize in Bath Flash Award 2020, been a Finalist in Bat City Review 2018 Short Prose Contest and Mid-American Review Fineline 2018 Contest. She lives in Texas and is the Fiction Editor for Waxwing Literary Journal.

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