Haunted Houses

by Joshua Palm

2nd Place – Flash 405, April 2021: “The Other”

'The Other' short-form poetry contest winner 'Haunted Houses' by Joshua Palm


This morning, while I was brushing my teeth,
a spirit climbed out of my reflection in the mirror.
It’s been swimming around in my shadow all day.



Judge’s Comments:
“Haunted Houses” steers a quotidian moment into remarkably strange territory in just three lines. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It contains the mundane and fantastic. It leaves me wanting more. In short, the author has, with great economy, told a complete story. That in itself is an accomplishment. The fact that this story is expansive, fluid, and memorable make it exceptional.

Joshua Palm is an MFA candidate at Sarah Lawrence college. Despite having written poetry for about nine years, he has never published (until now). He likes basketball.

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Photo Credit: Martino Pietropoli