Aphelion Issue 260, Volume 25
April 2021
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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The Void

by Ralph Monday

We live on a rock flying through space she said
to me. In a void & nobody knows anything about
anything. They just say that they do. Did you
know that?

Everybody wants a reason to believe, to think that
there’s some order, the faithful, divine will,
but it’s all chaos.
        All random, game of chance.

Like those spotted stars blinking up there over the
ridge. Hang like suspended from a noose, all that
empty space between us & them, a frightening
void, more empty than death, loss of a relationship.

We speed through it, going nowhere to notime.
You wanta know the weird thing? Those cold,
dead stars, yeah man, they made out of the same
stuff as a rose, or a rock, a dog, me & you.
All of it, all of us, disappear down as far as the
science jockeys can measure…into nothingness,
all existence made up of…nothing.

Doesn’t that scare the crap out of you? Walking
around, illusion, road mirage, thinking that you
are something. Even that beer you’re drinking,
        you’re drinking you.

Down there at the core…there is no core,
just like the void, we are all vacant, leading
barren lives, walking the illusion—man, in
cellphones, video games, one-night stands,
the liquid swill, white mind on a plate.
        You know, all the empty stuff,

the laughs for meaning. But it’s not there, man,
just marionettes on the rock in that chaotic

The whole universe, you just feel it going & going.
No matter who you are with, it’s just lonely.
On the precipice—dangle dangle.
        Everybody got a suppressed Munch scream.

2021 Ralph Monday

Ralph Monday is Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., and has published hundreds of poems in over 100 journals. A chapbook, ll American Girl and Other Poems, 2014. A book Empty Houses and American Renditions, 2015. A Kindle chapbook Narcissus the Sorcerer, 2015. A poetry collection, Bergman’s Island & Other Poems is scheduled for publication by Terror House Press in 2021, and a humanities text was published by Kendall/Hunt in 2018. Vol. 2 of the humanities text is expected in 2021. Twitter @RalphMonday Poets&Writers https://www.pw.org/directory/writers/ralph_monday

Find more by Ralph Monday in the Author Index.

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