4.  As a kid, he plays fate games. 
If the song on the radio ends
before the light turns green,
everyone in the car – mother,
father, and child will be dead
within twenty-four hours. 
It will be a tragedy known
only to them, left to the grisly
imagination of their family,
friends, and neighbors. 
Blood spatter on the kitchen
cabinets, bits of flesh encrusted
onto the living room carpet.
A finger in the toilet. An ear
propped up between piano strings.
Everything else, missing.
3.  Standing in the kitchen
at twenty-two, listening to his mother,
her white-pressed button-down,
emblem of control: I have cancer
Though she will fight, she will not wear pink
(she never wears pink or purple). 
Out the window,
in the late afternoon, a sunless dusk
fell in flakes, like ash, like tiny
clenching angel fists. 

2. They say earth spins
at 1,675 kilometers per hour,
465 meters a second. A moment
passes, half a kilometer
from here, a woman answers
the phone. Half a kilometer
from there, she begins writing
in perfect third grade teacher’s
handwriting: pressed down, pain,
vertebrae, T7, pushing up,
pinched, against the nerve
on spinal, left side, not against
spinal cord, three weeks
. Because of momentum,
we don’t feel the movement.
Because of gravity, she is firmly
attached. Nearby, spinning
along, her thirty-two-year-old son
fries some bacon, two eggs,
listening to her mmhmming
at regular intervals. If the yolks
don’t break, they will all live forever.

1. At thirty-five, he raises his phone,
snaps a pic of the little white church
where he was baptized, the pond
in the foreground reflecting
the frosted white spire and pines.
Set wallpaper, Lock screen, Gallery.
Behind him, his father approves
of the shot, view from the site
soon to engulf the meaning
of their lives. Nothing but gratitude
will be safe from this terrestrial
black hole, this altar of asking.
Everything else, missing.

Marco Anders

Marco Anders (he/him) lives in South Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his husband, two cats, and two chihuahuas. He received his MFA from Hamline University where he briefly served as a poetry editor for Water~Stone Review. Anders was managing editor for Flash Fiction Magazine (2016-2019) and has been previously published in now defunct journals, Versewrights, concīs.