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Night is a Man by Francine Witte

🏆 Nominated for Best Short Fictions 2022

🏆 Nominated for Best of the Net 2022

A man without hands, without feet. Night has nothing but eyes and ears and a scrap of heart.

You left ten weeks ago, and Night is what I sleep with.

Tonight, I wake Night up and take him to the grocery store. On the way there, Night looks at the moon, down to a sliver now, but still. If Night had a voice, he would tell me how the moon is his.

I walk up to the doors that whoosh open. Night doesn’t fit. He is sky, after all. He is dreams, after all.

I tell Night to wait and thank God for his ears.

I walk inside, my slippers back home, and I pad my feet down the aisles towards the bags and bags of chips. Since you left me, I look at food. It looks at me. I have put on the weight I was afraid to. If you still loved me. You wouldn’t now.

I pay for the chips and slip them into my jacket. They make a bump. They are the child we will never have.

I walk through the doors. The sun has shown up and pushed the darkness aside. I look everywhere, but Night has vanished. All eyes and ears of him. And like you, nothing but a scrap of its heart left behind.



Francine Witte’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, and Passages North. Her latest books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press,) The Way of the Wind (AdHoc fiction,) and The Theory of Flesh (Kelsay Books.) Her chapbook, The Cake, The Smoke, The Moon (flash fiction) will be published by ELJ September, 2021. She is flash fiction editor for Flash Boulevard and The South Florida Poetry Journal. She lives in NYC.


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