Jack is coming to kill me

Francine Witte


He told me. He told me.

He called me, and I answered the phone. Heard the smoke surrounding his cigarette head.

The earth has spun a couple of times since then. I’d like to think he forgot or got stuck in his lifecorner. But Jack is a patch of trouble that won’t go away, no how.

With Jack, a problem is from egg to ghost. If it isn’t ghost, it isn’t done.

I try to walk the flow of life, pass dreamless nights, counting one by one. I turn over every way to explain myself to Jack. It’s a strain, I think, this staying alive.

I finally land on telling him the affair wasn’t worth all this. And how I didn’t know it was his brother.

That’s when my little cat, Midge, comes and plomps herself on my chest. Like she knows she will have to meow my death to the neighbors.

I pull her close, like these last few moments of my life, into the folds of my robe.



Francine Witte is the author of four poetry chapbooks and two full-length collections, Café Crazy and The Theory of Flesh from Kelsay Books. Her flash fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologized in the most recent New Micro (W.W. Norton). Her novella-in-flash, The Way of the Wind, has just been published by Ad Hoc Fiction, and her full-length collection of flash fiction, Dressed All Wrong for This, was recently published by Blue Light Press. She lives in New York City.