Fall 2008, Volume 5

Fiction by Richard Harvey

The Brief Life of a Cherry

Flame, heat, hot, pressure, suction, ignition . . . LIFE!

Attached hu‑man man hand holding tube-bacco paper, I am it is me.

Burn, burn, burn . . . .

He wears full fuzzy fuzzy face around his─lips press pull heat hot hotter! Hazel‑brown peepers, bloodshot sleepers gaze past chipped gray painted concrete porch. Burn, burn, burn . . . .

Orange‑yellow morning lit brick buildings black top parking lot curb stairs surround chipped gray painted porch.

Tube lips press pull, OOOOH SOOOO──HOT──Sigh . . . .

Hu‑man fe‑male moves away. Hu-man man savors sway──short skirt long legs, pleasing curves. Burn, Burn, Burn!

He bites down long hard deep pull tube-bacco paper home. HOT HEAT HOT HEAT HOT HEAT!

Hu-man man glancing down doubtful. Brow creases. Trouble. Quiet. burn, burn, burn.

Lips press pull──whooooooaaa──hand mass flying arc dark fence post, Noooooooooooo.

Whew, time out . . . . Still─attached to paper tube-bacco part of it part of me. He holds . . . . He holds . . .

burn, burn, burn.

Moments muse: Tube-bacco paper shorter——cherry——ash longer.

Moment minder: Take moment, meet fence post:

Cherry, "Beautiful day, no?!"

Fence Post, " . . . Whheeelllll, iiiiiffff youuuu ssaaayyy sooooooooo."

Cherry, "It seems like, like, like it took──HOT, HEAT, ORANGE, RED! SHEESHH REALGOOD! Really real real real real GOOOOOOOOD WHEW──it seems like, seems like, seems like you took fooooooooooor EVER to say Soooooo."

Fence Post, "Weeee aaallll aaarrrr dyyyinnnnnggg. Meeeee, Iiii wiiilll goooooo slllooooowww-llyyy, yyyoooouuu mmuuuuuucccchhhhh sssooooonnneerrrrr."

Cherry, "Pleasant fellow, no?" OOOOHHH! HOT HOT! I LOVE HEAT! Mmmmm, Mmmm! BURN!

Hu‑man man again glares down on me doubtfully. What, what, what? Scratches around round belly flexes─ ─stretches. Woooooossssshhhh!

Flicking fingers lurch hu-man man hand home world. Burn, burn, burn . . . .

Senses again. What? Remember . . . .

Ash scatters away flaky gray fragments drawn upon in-stant re-play screen.

Ash eulogy: never said hello good‑bye, fine. Hot again hotter heat! Burn, Burn, Burn!

Hu-man man savors flavors: street side sugar and spice cookie. Skin-tight damp athletic worked-out fe‑male curves pouring out little red sportster door.

"Nice freckles!" he thinks. Burn, Burn, Burn!

Hu-man man fingers hand edging──in my direction. Pinching tube-bacco crushing spinning, spinning twisting, twisting shaking…Wait!

Tube-bacco strand ropes resist twist cool air touches where tube-bacco once was. Burn! Burn! hand attached to man shakes—— me feeling new heat——MORE HEAT!


Dizzy spinning heat worries me.

Twist twirl twist twirl twist twirl. Wait! Twist pinch, pinch crush, crush twist. Hanging strings tube-bacco paper shreds burning whirling twirling hanging clinging: the last ragtag burning strands. Relent-less pressure──




"Wwoonnnnderrrrfull ddaaayyyy tttooooooo yyyyoooouuuu,"

says mountain boulder rock pebble sticking out of black top parking lot.

BIO:  Richard Harvey is a poet and novelist who lives in Long Beach, California. Many of the poems published in Verdad will be integrated into the plotline of his novel, Soft and Chewy. He recently published a chapbook called Lemonade - Notes To Cancer. He is a 3-year brain cancer survivor. An important part of his healing has been honoring his creative nature by reconnecting with writing. He conducts Healing Through Creativity workshops with cancer support groups and students of all ages. He has a wonderful loving wife, two sons and two dogs; all of them occasionally wander into his poems. He is very grateful to the muse for coming back for frequent visits.