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Whistle Stop

I watched an old black and white once, where a lady sat waiting
day after day, for a train to bring her man home from war.
Sometimes I buy roses, wrapped in brown paper, expecting
someone to ask who they’re for. I’ll say I’m meeting my girl
at the station, though trains rarely stop in this town. It’s easier
that way, full of romance. Streets are friendly when you’re carrying flowers–
packed with smiles and nods–like they’re not full of lonely people,
each hoping someone will see them. In a cafe, I listen to small talk
about Angie and Brad and how nothing is built to last
anymore. I check my watch and look up often
as though I have someplace to be. I hear the train
rumble past, not stopping, drop my roses
in the bin as I leave.

Ryan Stone

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Murder in Melbourne

In the Kings Domain,
while roses weep,
homeless hands invade
pale flesh, stain a sleeping city
crimson.

Winter’s rime freezes
blood
as quickly as it spills –
dismissed by ghostly walkers
who see consent
within the brume.

Tattered thoughts flee,
scatter on a breeze
like leaves spilled
over dewed grass. A moan,
a sigh, the frenzied grind
of stained denim
on lace.

Ryan Stone

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Sneewittchen

Ten small moons
blank as bone,
not bright enough
to guide her home.
Five above, and
five below
in the land of Fae,
where cold winds blow.

A coffin, glass,
her beauty case;
asleep at last,
the maiden, chaste.
A mirror’s truth
first planted seed,
from poison springs
doom’s apple tree.

Cloaked in night
her hunter lies;
a queen deceived
by fourteen eyes.
Grim tales weave
through bloody looms.
In royal breast
a thawed rose blooms.

Ryan Stone

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First published in Poppy Road Review, March 2016.