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Accept What You Will

The delightfully mismatched, misshapen couple

had held hands and held on to hope for a decade

that is precise, from the first second of the decade

to the last second of the tenth year

and not spoken a word

though both had been garrulous before

they saw or knew something that made 

such a vow mandatory

then, less than a second into the next decade

both began to speak, together:

there is no real truth

memory is a conflating game

the past is the vomit of truth and memory

be they unreal and conflating

we said this to the Gestapo

and now we’ll say it to the world…

and they tightened their hand-holding 

and indicated a mere year this time

and I, for certain, do not doubt them.


Canadian poet, fiction writer, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island. His 24 books, include An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2016), Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (Poetry, Guernica Editions, 2017), A Visit to the Kafka Café (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2018), Gregor Samsa Was Never in The Beatles (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2019), Morning Bafflement and Timeless Puzzlement (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2020), Somewhat Absurd, Somehow Existential (Poetry, Guernica Editions, 2021), Acting on the Island (Stories, Pottersfield Press, 2022), and As You Continue to Wait (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2022). His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies internationally, and over 60 of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States.


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