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by Linda Collins

 The C-word is a word too far. He won’t say it on prime-time TV. All the advisers, and there are many, agree. Vote-loser word for the Bible Belt followers. He thinks it, of course. There’s gyzym in the whitey house toilet, it’s his jerk reaction. But out of his puff-pillow lips instead comes Lock Her up and Send Her Back. Words from the lips of an asshole. Assholes can speak. They speak crap. The worry is that in this …. contamination of thought and word ….all are reducted to asses and holes. The Him and the Four. All of them and all of us. The only free speech is hate speech. Silence comes at a cost. So speak speak hate hate. Or try the witty rejoinder, catty comeback, dignified upholding clutching of scarf, rejoinder, all reported everywhere, liberals bow down, they share. Four and fierce, yet with that age-old look of Mother Africa, plundered again, asunder again. There are children somewhere at their feet, unseen. Oh they are upright women. Righteous. They are right as they are wronged. But they – all the They – speak speak in two languages over the top of one another on a border that might day be walled up to separate the yin and the yang, the lingam and the entrance, light and dark, and all the endocrinology in between. Assholes don’t know that they are just purveyors of gametes. Whore moans. Cue the Georgia Peach, also known as one of the wives, with progeny. The asshole likens an ass to a peach. The four wise women reply, Send him back.

                                                                               send him back

                                                                                                      send him back.

 To unreality TV. To the twitterverse of outbursts, non-metrical.  And the four women of the apocalypse summon all that is not asshole, there’s a cry of something beyond this little universe. The words come forward, they were never locked up, they were just there, deities awaiting, meaning not demeaning. They are love. They are hope, not hate.                                                                                             


If a box, if a cherry if a box of cherries were

if a pussy, if a bitch if a pussy bitch were

if a beaver, if a muff if a beaver muff were

if a mother, if a purse if a mother’s purse were

if a cookie, if a bowl if a cookie bowl were  


a cherry, a pussy, a muff, a biscuit jar,


it would be sweet and soft and warm.

You know what? Something’s baking. 

About the Author

Linda Collins has an MA in Creative Writing obtained in 2017 at Victoria University, New Zealand. Since then she has been short-listed for the Hachette Australia Trans-Tasman mentorship, long-listed for NZ’s annual flash fiction contest, and awarded an Honorable Mention in a Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Contest. Her poems and non-fiction have been published or forthcoming in The Fib Review, The Cordite Poetry Review, Turbine, The Freerange Journal, Flash Frontier, Swamp Living, and the upcoming anthology Voicing Suicide (Ekstasis Editions, Canada). Her memoir, Loss Adjustment, will be published in September by Ethos Books Singapore.

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