The First Stone1 min read

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i) We are closer to the animal than we think. Birds peck at their food. Chicks are fed, beak to beak.

ii) We open our mouths for the stream of data gathered by the machine. Chew time is time wasted.

iii) The gag reflex becomes a vestigial process. We are adapted to swallowing in one go.

iv) The machine rounds us up in a circle. It shares the story of a dark–skinned woman winning the crown, most beautiful in the world. Her image peppers the stream.

v) Somehow it is wrong to be beautiful and dark at the same time.

vi) Someone throws the first stone.

vii) The queen smiles through broken teeth and bruises. Her crown remains clipped to her hair.

viii) Only the machine remembers her now. No one asks where she is.

ix) Some beetle larva drink with their skin.

x) We stop eating with our mouths.

Anne Carly Abad

Anne Carly Abad

Anne Carly Abad has recently been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her poem “The Bitter Gourd’s Fate” which was published by Niteblade. Her work has appeared or will appear in NameL3ss Digest, Apex Magazine, and Not One of Us. Check out her upcoming novel The Light Bringer’s Kingdom, now available for preorder.
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