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Contributor: Todd Mercer

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Some days you succeed at the task, split the stone open.
Other times you stall out because you stayed up
over-late and didn’t favor choices that make
the body beautiful. Suspense surrounds attempts
of those who’ve halved it before but choked since,
like that iconic skier tumbling the length of the Seventies
on that sports show intro. The Agony of Defeat guy
could still kick ass in a bar fight, but the mercy rule
suggests we let him be by now. The sword is certain,
but the spirit needs caffeine. If one split the stone
in ‘86, ’95 and 2010, must one cleave it each try
to stay a slight hero? Survey says: Yes.
Fair is what would be if your mother ran the planet.
She has no pull here, zero. Certain mornings
you wake up foolproof and divide the stone.
So far no one can manage it every blessed day.

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TODD MERCER won the Grand Rapids Festival Flash Fiction Award. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, appeared at Right Hand Pointing. Recent work appears in 100 Word Story, Literary Orphans and Praxis.


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