An Image of Self-Violence

by Darick Taylor

EDITOR’S NOTE: Discretion is advised. Following is a story about self-harm and suicide. 

This piece originally published on Across the Margin.

My therapist had introduced me to another of her clients: a woman in her mid-40s with a history of self-harm. She had a kind of loose-skinned thinness brought about not by her age but by the incessant tanning she hoped would camouflage her scars. Her natural teeth had clearly been replaced by dentures, giving her a look that lay in a place between her actual age and twenty years older.

Continue reading An Image of Self-Violence

Dumb Glitter Alchemy

by Mark David Goodson

It was during our tax-prep that I knew we needed to get away together.

We had spent the 2016 tax year throwing W-2s, 1099s, anything that might register in a schedule A, B, C, or Z into tax folders. She marked hers “2016 Taxes” and I marked mine “New Taxes.” When she asked me that morning to put the tax folder in my bag so that we have it at the appointment, it never dawned on me that there would be two separate folders to bring in.

Continue reading Dumb Glitter Alchemy


by Derek Flynn

janey doesn’t want anything
that’s gonna make her cry again
she says she’s wasted
too many tears
on her girlfriend’s shoulders
are so broad and his mind
is so narrow
he thinks of only one thing
and when she won’t give it to him
he says
it’s enough to make you want to hurt her
it’s enough to make you want to hurt her

the nights roll back like the sheets
she says
i’m tired from a week of fighting
and I’m tired of you
she goes window shopping
for the things she knows she’ll never use
but she tells her friends that it makes her feel safe
every time he says
it’s enough to make you want to hurt her
it’s enough to make you want to hurt her

and after a while
it doesn’t hurt you anymore
and it’s like some kind of black relief
as you rush to meet the floor
and it’s something that surrounds you
it’s something that engulfs you
and takes you in
takes you in
and all the while you know
that he never meant to hurt you
no, he never meant to hurt you

janey gave up window shopping
and took everything in hand
left him lying face down in the rain
dying to the rhythm of some
street-corner marching band
and so she moves on
with nowhere to move onto
no one to move onto
just someone else
one more person who says

it’s enough to make you want to hurt her
it’s enough to make you want to hurt her

Author Pic

Derek Flynn is an Irish writer and musician with a Masters in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. Derek’s short story “The Healer” was recently featured in Surge, an anthology of the best new Irish writing published by O’ Brien Press. He is also a regular contributor to where he writes his “Songbook” column. And because he obviously has a lot of time on his hands, he is currently working on his latest solo album.

Like most writers, he is fuelled solely by caffeine and self-doubt.