Charles O'Hay



Check any that apply:                                                                                                                                                    [ ] Hypertension
[ ] Insomnia
[ ] Black cat bone                                                                                                                                                           [ ] Ruby slippers
[ ] Blood in the ambrosia
[ ] Tremors in the sacristy
[ ] Sudden anguish
[ ] Glass fatigue
[ ] Synchronized weeping
[ ] Moral fluidity
[ ] Unplanned divination
[ ] Inability to see laughing people                                                                                                                              [ ] Motion sickness  
[ ] Sleeping sickness
[ ] Braille chalkboards
[ ] Three birds on a two-bird branch                                                                                                                           [ ] A glass of flaming bitters
[ ] The shock of it all
[ ] Can you imagine?
[ ] So many frogs

Dancing in the Crossfire

Another pandemic afternoon. Life’s a killer and we all have it. There is no fear of contagion. We toss the sunlight back and forth like a baseball. Like amputees, we adjust our devices. Like consumptives, we talk through our masks. On litmus paper addressed to some ancient summer, I write my grandfather: “What did you feel when you killed those men in the war?” He writes back, “I felt I wanted to live.” We are all dancing in the crossfire. Not long from now, a cloud of locusts will cradle the last dying volt, the last electrical hiccup to pass through the wires. It will sound like a prayer, only more so. Until then, catch the ball. Throw it back.

Charles O'Hay is the author of two collections—Far from Luck (2011) and Smoking in Elevators (2014)—both from Lucky Bat Books. His work has appeared in over 150 literary publications, including Cortland Review, Kentucky Review, and New York Quarterly.