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Jason M. Thornberry


Woman at a Restaurant by David S. Soriano

Into the night
I blend with traffic
From light to light.
Back on my plate
My white napkin

Lays folded like
A flag of surrender.
A purple sash of outrage
Across your shoulders,

Exploded capillaries
Peppering my
Stepfather’s cheek.
The sycophant
Sitting beside you,

Agreeing, nodding
Frowning, confirming.
I was a fool
For not seeing,
A fool for not

Agreeing, a fool
Resisting your
Logic. Mother’s day,
We spoke but a
Minute. Your birthday,

Even less. Months
Later: the phone
Vibrates on my desk,
Your Hello a
Butcher knife.

I didn’t think
You’d pick up,
You whisper


About the writer:
Jason M. Thornberry’s writing appears in the Los Angeles Review of Books, JMWW, Letters Journal, North Dakota Quarterly, and elsewhere. He overcame a traumatic brain injury. Relearning to walk and speak, Jason earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University. He teaches writing at Seattle Pacific University.

Image: Woman at a Restaurant by David S. Soriano (contemporary). Digital image with AI assistance. No size specified. By 2022. By free license.

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supporting writers and artists worldwide.

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