Once Upon a Time / Tristan Foster

Like that time you got dragged from the bar by the collar so outside
your shirt was bunched around your ears and the indecision of  
whether to pull it off or fix it ruined the rhythm of the fight. Still 
had your lip punched open. Sat at the front of the bus on the way home 
with your polo shirt blood spotted, drunkenness ebbing away and 
holding in your lap a feeling like heartbreak. Like that time you found 
your bird at the bottom of its cage, eyes shut, breaths shallow. Kissed 
it then turned its head on its neck because you had somewhere to be. 

And you knew after a month or maybe just a few weeks you were better off apart
but kept at it anyway.Kept at all of it, because she did 
things like kiss you on the knuckles then whisper: you have the hands 
of a pianist. Like that time as a child under the tin carport, the 
clatter of rain overhead, you collected snails in a pile while an old 
aunt died inside the house. In an art class a few years later, rain at 
the windows, and the teacher ran his charcoal tipped fingers through 
his hair, reached for a new stick of chalk, and said, let me tell you a 
story: whether we know it or not we hunt for the sensual.

Tristan Foster is a writer from Sydney, Australia. His debut short story collection Letter to the Author of the Letter to the Father was published from Transmission Press. He is co-editor-in-chief of 3:AM Magazine.

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  1. On ‘Once Upon A Time’ – No Follow

    […] poem Once Upon A Time has been published in the second anniversary/Kali edition of RIC Journal. I’m super happy […]


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