KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Prose Poem: 106 words


by Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Her job is buffing the pink onto flamingoes, a temporary punishment for riding on under- inflated bike tires and carelessly ripping an eye from a small mouth bass, hurrying to get back to the boys and the bonfire. She works only the flamingoes, who arrive like all birds at the Aviantiquarium, gray as the ashes of Pompeii. They don’t want be buffed any more than she wants to buff them but only the pelicans are allowed to escape gray. Flamingo tears ping against the wall like pop beads, their screams off-key, a bad barbershop quartet. She can buff three an hour, if no one bites.


—Published previously in Driftwood Press (Volume Three, Issue 2; 2016); appears here with author’s permission

Painting: Phantoms, by Mary Hatch

Painting, oil on canvas
Copyright © by Mary Hatch. All rights reserved.

—Reproduced from with artist’s permission


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