Aphelion Issue 291, Volume 28
February 2024
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
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Flash Writing Challenge
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Foolish Integers

by Stephanie Smith

On sleepless nights like this I try to count the stars,
but my calculations are approximate
When I read all the books in the universe
I am still left with emptiness:
a vast, white oblivion
that only breaks to vomit bile
The numbers don't add up
Perhaps all the texts are wrong
and Heaven is a fallacy created by
quadratic equations made to look eloquent, but aren't
In fact, they're downright vulgar, juvenile things
Even a child knows perfection isn't perfect
For, it will always leave us wanting more—
as in hoping for immortality
inside the brightest star

© 2023 Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith is a poet and writer from Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in issues of The Horror Zine, Illumen, and Liquid Imagination, among others.

Find more by Stephanie Smith in the Author Index.