Aaron Smith CC
Wherever I go,
I find solitary pennies,
abandoned as worthless,
or carelessly dropped,
forgotten in haste
while changing apartments,
the couch cushions,
rattling inside the dryer,
hiding under the stove,
left beside the sink
in a puddle of water,
oxidizing green ooze.
In my copper town,
church doors gleam
in midday sunshine,
more radiant than gold.
That same mineral,
scorned as rubbish,
buffed up in its
The mine unveils
its treasures at random:
a door here, a fencepost
there, finally an
entire row of copper,
rigid as soldiers. A
far cry from pennies,
but still the same bloodline.
I clutch the coins
inside my purse
tight, because someday
I might need one
for that $1.51 purchase,
or to make a wish
at a fountain, for something
I don’t really want. Just
another way to lighten
my load. I turn away
and walk towards home:
a little poorer than before.
Nevada Suicide Prevention
Friends catch her by the shoulders
on the edge of a casino balcony,
drunk and reeling above gaggles of tourists.
Cocktails in hand, the revelers gaze:
first, with curiosity, then malice.
Vulnerability brings out their sadism.
They point and laugh. She tries to
hurl her body into their upturned faces.
Hands steady her momentum, but only for a second.
She breaks free, bolts downstairs, darts between
the roulette tables and slot machines, runs
like she can never stop. And she can’t stop:
legs move by themselves, like frantic pistons.
Nothing waits at home for a safe return. No job,
apartment or money, just the emptiness of flesh,
and her mind, cluttered as the evening news.
A trip to Vegas for her twenty-third birthday.
So far, she hasn’t won a dime. Friends
signal the bartender for another round.
Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Bisbee, Arizona. Her most recent books, "Misguided Behavior, Tales of Poor Life Choices" (Czykmate Press), "Death and Heartbreak" (Weasel Press), and "Cocktails at Denny's" (Alien Buddha ) were released in 2019. Leah’s work appears in Midway Journal, Citron Review, The Spectacle, Miracle Monocle, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and elsewhere. Her essay "Firebrand, The Radical Life and Times of Annie Besant" appears in the book, "Fierce, Essays By and About Dauntless Women" which won first place in the non-fiction division of the 2020 Publisher's Weekly Booklife contest.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.