by

Avra Margariti

The poltergeists come
one by one
and they do not know
one another’s faces
only the shapes their bodies
etch in the red darkness,
the new shapes their bodies carve
together, shadow-puppets
in the sound-proof chamber.

She thinks of the Red Sea
as she parts her lips for them
the rains of Mars
the russet soil darkening, soaking
as she opens herself up,
film clattering,
family lives unspooling
on the floor.

The poltergeists leave the darkroom
the way they came: faceless
and one by one. Only
the photographer remains.
She unpins her shirt and skirt
hanging from the taut rope,
her underwear playing
tic-tac-toe between half-formed photographs.
She removes her wedding
ring from the chemical developer bath.
The gold band burns on her finger,
eating at her skin
the way of hungry ghosts.

Avra Margariti is a queer Social Work undergrad from Greece. She enjoys storytelling in all its forms and writes about diverse identities and experiences. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Flash Fiction Online, The Forge Literary, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, SmokeLong Quarterly, and other venues. Avra won the 2019 Bacopa Literary Review prize for fiction. You can find her on Twitter @avramargariti.

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