Speculative fiction writer from New York. For published work visit francoamatiwrites.com or buy me a coffee at ko-fi.com/francoamati
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Photo by MBARDO from Pexels

A pain she hadn’t known before was the weight of the expression of someone much younger looking at her with haughty disregard because they held a position of greater rank.

For years she had been precocious too, ahead of the curve. She was once the new up-and-comer. She had been the young woman looking at older coworkers toiling away and thinking where the hell did you go wrong? Why is a kid so far ahead of you?

Now she’s the older one. No longer the promising young neophyte ready to conquer the world…

This thought crossed her mind: I must reek of wasted potential. My aura must seem polluted with unfulfilled promise. …

thoughts on self, other, and choice

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Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

It’s weird to think about how much the outcome of our lives can be influenced by a few integral people. Success and failure so often hinge on the actions of other people whose fates somehow intertwine with ours. Just a few individuals can be the difference between salvation or destruction in a person’s life.

But what about us? What’s our role in this? This thing we call a self, the one who is supposedly so central to our own stories. Are we just tossed about on an open ocean of dumb luck, victims of the chaotic whims of other people?

Maybe our role is one of judgement and discretion and, when necessary, choice. …

and other unwanted things

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Photo by 王维家 on Unsplash

Flower pot shaped like a butt
holds the only plant I own
round apple cheeks, sexy slender waist
dimple at the bottom of the back
The front part blank, no vagina
because that would be too lewd?
A piece of a Pothos plant hangs over the rim —
the rim which cuts slightly below
where the shoulder blades would be
That’s right — it’s a plant container shaped like a butt —
a partial torso — pretty much, and a plump, cherry ass
and some thick upper thighs
No knees
The whole thing’s about eight inches tall
Not sure what it’s made of,
but the flesh is a sort of tan color
The shred of Pothos hanging out of it,
a vine draped across the back
with leaves slithering between the ass crack,
is a little bit mottled, sort of marbled yellow and green,
but healthy enough to make it
The Pothos is also known as Devil’s Ivy
because they’re strong and nearly impossible to kill
They can endure great suffering —
withstand long periods of maltreatment
and still survive…
This piece was cut from a larger plant
that now resides in a big house with all the other plants
that I used to take care of and no longer have access to
They were all taken away
She took them all
Said every single one of them was hers
But the sliver — this sliver of Pothos she trimmed off as excess
Said it would grow easily, even if detached from the rest of itself
So, she said, you could have this and make it take root somewhere,
and you’ll have a full grown plant, maybe in a few months
Root it? I said. Where? …

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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

I don’t know if it’s the dew on the grass
or the taste of the air filtered through an
unready nose, or what
But when I walk outside at an ungodly hour,
it hits me hard in the face
That unsettling smell of I’M AWAKE TOO EARLY
And the sun is barely in the sky
and the sound of traffic hurts the ears
and the nascent light burns the eyes
The feeling of TOO EARLY
is a painful stillness
telling you that nothing has started yet,
but it will
trust me, it will
give it a sec…
The day will hit you before the caffeine does
The stress and the nerves —
and before you know it, you gotta take a shit
and you’re miles from a decent toilet
Why does the morning hate me so much? …

a poem

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Photo by Adrien Olichon from Pexels

My digital projection
is a little out of focus
Not quite me,
not quite my intention

My digital projection
won’t tell you the whole story
It won’t tell you a story at all
Just bits and pieces of a life

Demographics, data points
Random scraps of information
The stuff you’ll use to construct
your version of who I am

My digital projection
is both younger and older
uglier and prettier
depending on your mood or the time of day

The colors and shades of REAL
don’t filter through quite correctly
Not fiction, not truth
But more like something assembled

There will be a day
when all there is —
all that we are —
is digital…

Poem for the underappreciated instructors

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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

One campus, two campus, three campus, four
Thirty years of school and you’re still fucking poor
Old car, high rent — good luck gettin’ medical
But denouncing academia’d be downright heretical

Blame yourself — publish more
Kiss ass — foot in door
Foot in mouth, don’t protest
Face it, you’re not the best

Class after class, lectures melt together
Come on, are you really gonna do this forever?
You don’t belong here — you’re a total imposter
Can’t even remember all the names on the roster

Yet you teach and persist with brisk alacrity
But you can’t feed your kids with mere integrity
So what else is there to do at this point anyway? …

A poem and a Scuzzbucket thank you

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Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

Walk with me as I tear it up
As I bring it down
As I spill my cup

Walk with me as I lay to waste
As I fuck it all
As I lose my taste

Walk with me as I light the flame
As I destroy my life
As I forget my name

Walk with me
as I lose it all
and for you I’ll do the same

Keep tearin’ it up Scuzzbucket people.

Life might drag you down,
but with the written word, there is no losing.

I want to give a sincere thank you to the pioneering writers of this pub: Dominic Pulera Alex Vizin Joe Shetina Gerardo Rene Paz Rafaela Mempin Joanna Vang Slaidey Valheim Ana Mikatadze Sarah Paris Ema Dumitru Natassa Penn Georgia Lewitt Seven Uday_neutron Chloe Hill Zainab Jafri Anish Ramjee Anthi Psomiadou Drew Wardle Moriah Rivera-Lawrence Anna Blendermann Kae Smith Mushk Bala Aigner Loren Wilson Nidhi Agrawal Paula Light Andrea Juillerat-Olvera Janani Kehelwala MDSHall Bradon Matthews Erin M. Singh Jeff Langley Campbell Christensen Regina Clarke uzair amir Claire Boyce Mary Corbin Padma Bern Synthia…

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