The Tale Spun

Once upon a time, there was a story that took 2,000 years to create. It was a beautiful snail that gave life to the imagination. No doubt, it was about slaves eating gills to survive. No doubt, it was about the fruit of ancient Pompeii. Was that a brown map on its back or a big moth? It was the best kiss, it was an act of devotion, and why was it there? Because the doll of stone bled water and killed a dream, too. There’s more to this story than an apple staring at its own end. It began as a parade and ended in flames on the tidal flats. Yes, it was a long,hot, lonely road into the forbidden town of amputees. It just moved by its own force up a children’s book like a glove. Pulling the whole story together was a top-secret balloon full of Olympians. It blew my mind, listening to them sing of the animals that stand like granite in the rolling hills. Throwing bread on the water, I expected such a lonely word to outshine the sun, but the truth of the story made me cry with its street of vibrating strings. I thought it was forever a frontier so weird it was otherworldly. I wanted to write a story of chess, to utter light and taste no hint of time. It was my idea to have one last moment upon a time when the door of spring found itself in the twilight. Once upon a time, when the world was a tornado of words chugging back to life.

Clifford Saunders


Cliff Saunders has an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Arizona. His poems have appeared recently in Serving House Journal, Five 2 One, Avatar Review, Rumble Fish Quarterly, and Whale Road Review. He lives in Myrtle Beach, where he works as a freelance writer.

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