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A brief history of nothing

by Janina C. Bagherzadeh

Original Prompt:

Write a piece entitled: A Brief History of Nothing

Too much to remember

Not enough to write down. Time is falling

through my hands and gathering in

between the years I’ve lost to future 

whispers. Like

Where will my reach go

And how long and how far and how wide.


Child hands and child eyes

Child loves and child clothes.

I loathed the sight of lightning but I adored the rain.


This comes back to me.


A bruise I can’t remember and a scab I picked


A white tank top the size of my adult thigh

Stretch now stiff, flat, crunching under fingers


Backpacks I once recognized

Faces I once saw

With straight blonde hair

Longer than I remember

Shorter than I thought. – falling out.


Tighter jeans then loose again

Red-speckled face and metal mouth

Metal flesh lines

Striped red and pale

Dripping between thinning fingers and 

thinning waist.

Bones extruding. Band aid seams.


Folded into folds and folded into folds.


Thicker and smaller and wider

Colors dark and eyes tired

Eyes alive again.

A thickness in the cheeks, I forgot I could have.

Alive and dead and alive


Moments folded, folded, folded


Today with the same baggy t-shirt

Today with the same blonde hair

Today with the bones and the eyes and the clothes

But swelling, smooth cheeks

Adult eyes, adult hands.


What of the mind that brought me here – 

Left in the words of history

yet to be written. And it slips away in fingers

thinning out.

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