Poetry - Issue 03 | February 2009

The Fortress

by RL


They were happy in Lübeck.  They crossed out every fifth day and repeated the others twice.  Instead of an onion he’d peel an orange and she’d sit and listen.  Instead of a fish she’d hold up an eel or boletus and they’d end by making love. 

She’d gather and wash the stones then he’d etch the Tor or lions into the stones’ flat faces and place them in the window for sale.  The stones piled up, eyes shined and hands fumbled, but the door never opened.

Orange, eel, boletus.  Stones piling up. Within a year—by whose measure—even sunlight failed to find an entrance.  Mortar was the last step before they disappeared.


About the author

R L Swihart loves travelling: A circuitous journey from Amsterdam to Poland and back again has just given him a few new beads on his I’ve-been-there bracelet: Aachen, Dresden, Wroclaw, etc. Recent publications include Avatar Review, Burningword Literary Journal, and Rain Magazine.

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