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  • Writer's pictureKayleigh Willis

'In Another Language, Your Name Means Murder' by Francine Witte

But did I listen? No.

Not when the old women drew pictures of knives and mimicked throatsqueeze. Not when danger music played in the background ba-ba-bom. Not even when subtitles -run for your life! - zippered across your chest-

I looked instead at the cool blue ice of your eyes. I told myself a lot gets lost in translation, and murder probably means something else, a shade of difference. I told myself that murder is relative and that the dagger you were holding was to carve our names in a tree heart. I told myself that a warning is nothing anyway, just a lost ship on a murky sea, turning and turning, seagulls screaming in the air above, no hope of finding land.

Copyright. Francine Witte.

Francine Witte’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, and Passages North. Her latest books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press,) The Way of the Wind (AdHoc fiction,) and The Theory of Flesh (Kelsay Books.) Her chapbook, The Cake, The Smoke, The Moon (flash fiction) will be published by ELJ in Fall 2021. She is flash fiction editor for Flash Boulevard and The South Florida Poetry Journal. She lives in NYC.

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