by Charlene Moskal

Honorable Mention – Flash 405, February 2019: “Happily Ever After”



All the neurotic pieces that hung marionette-like on nerve strings, on loose raw tendons, came together when there was you and formed me solid; a concrete cinder block wall. Some say you know it is right when the wall comes down. I knew it was right when the wall went up; fierce, protective. Love with hearts and flowers superimposed over the past. I was insulated by structure and hope. I was written on by your graffiti with murals of heroes, savages and saviors all of them wearing your face and mine. In the background Tina is singing, What’s love got to do with it?, and I answer, Everything.



Judge’s Comments:
We love to look at love as something that tears our walls down, but I utterly adore this upended take on love as a different kind of wall. The right kind of love is supportive and protective, and I love how this writer taps into this different aspect of a relationship to get at something profound in a strong bond between its narrator and subject. It’s a different take on our aphorisms about love and a welcome one at that. Plus, who can resist a nod to an always banging Tina Turner bop?

Charlene Moskal is a Fellow of the New Jersey Writing Project and a Teaching Artist for the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, she taught art, theater and speech in secondary public schools in Brownsville, Texas. Charlene has been published in numerous anthologies, magazines and e-zines, including Dash, Helen, a literary magazine, The Esthetic Apostle, The Raven’s Perch, Sky Island Journal, Chaleur Journal, and others. Zeitgeist Press recently released her chapbook, “One Bare Foot.”


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