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"Awake" & "The One Who Never Leaves" by Brian Christopher Giddens


Raindrops hurl to the pavement, pooling, streaming,

Seeking inlets in which to rest.

I lie in bed hearing the swoosh of tires as cars glide by,

Infrequently, at four in the morning.

Too early for all but the most industrious commuters,

Too late for revelers, passed out in beds.

I listen, so I don’t start to think.

Those thoughts that come in the dark of night

Those streams of questions coursing through my mind,

Demanding answers.

I choose instead to listen.

The rhythmic breathing of my partner, at times punctuated by a snore of surprise.

The dreams of the dog, defending us. Brave, even in slumber.

The shush of the rain, cleansing us, quenching us, so that we can rise,

Glistening in the light of a new day.

The One Who Never Leaves

How quick the return.

A harsh comment

A look of disgust

A threat to leave

Brings him back to you.

That weak-kneed little boy

Standing so small

Deep inside your soul.

Eyes brimming with tears

Voice shaking, whispering,

“I’m so scared”.

You thought you dealt with this,

In years of therapy.

You held him

Heard him out

Told him he was safe now.

Then you moved on

Got tough, grew a pair

More polished than a brand-new pair of shoes.

At least you thought so.

Oh, how vulnerable we are.

How thin the veneer

How fragile the shell

How deep the wound,

That never



Brian Christopher Giddens (he/him) is a writer of fiction and poetry. Brian’s writing has been featured in Silver Rose, On the Run Fiction, Glass Gates Collective, Flash Fiction Online (pending publication), and Hyacinth Review (pending publication). Brian is a native of Seattle, Washington, where he lives with his husband, and Jasper the dog. Brian can be contacted at, and his photo haikus can be found on Instagram @giddens394.

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