Peer Review by G. Callahan House (United States)

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By: agustdv


nine; like the clock gonging in my chest, an agonizing pity party. it clangs humorously, and i want it to stop tearing my rib cage, but it doesn't. it stays, nestled between my bones, this appalling monstrosity. i think i like how it makes me feel.

eight; but i am long since past that age. i don't think about wanting to make myself happy, or smiling at strangers that look kind. i don't stare at the sky, building stories in the clouds; clouds, a cloud head, my head in the clouds. 

seven; the days, the absoluteness of my pain, the way i chop my hair off. i am in a rat race, gasping for breath, but these aren't my sins. mine are yet to be made. mine are yet to sing to the populace. mine are yet to be deadly.

six; the number on my math test. the lines yawn at me incomprehensibly, but i make do with i have. there is infinite calm resting on my shoulders, perched on my brain. vain, vain, but will trigonometry save me?

five; my palm on fire. i write too little, i write too empty, i reek of apathy. temptation in the shape of kerosene, like a slave to candle wicks, i read poems to my stove. pyromania is an identity.

four; seasons, sides to the story. the heat is scarring, like blades? wounds? words? i think i should let my eyes float in a mason jar; jarring, enthralling, coherent. the seasons are dying, and so am i.

three; pin plugs, let me knit in peace please. some needles you do not charm, some sockets you do not fill, some houses you do not build. these machines are mocking me. i can't let them embroider me.

two; shells of a mollusk. sand castles on a glistening beach, and my hair in knots; i think white suited me the best. the waves are crying, but i do not care. i just steal starfishes from the sea.

one; the antithesis of duality. two residing in my skin, but i only welcome the finest into my home. there is a funny bone, but do not mind it. nobody's laughing.

zero; the white crayon of numbers. it's time to stop.


Peer Review

These number function as a countdown to a final closure, of both the work and of life. With the symbols associated with the numbers, the author explores universal themes with life and death.

I would think the first paragraph would need more detail, simply because of the strange heart/clock metaphor. I think it's a very interesting metaphor that can be explored more.

Reviewer Comments

The countdown aspect of this piece and the quasi-blank title gives the reader a sense of emptiness, and unlike other pieces that have attempted to imitate this feeling, this piece gets it head on.