Two Somnambulists Bump Into Each Other

by Thomas O’Connell

I could find you in a darkened movie theatre. Staggering down the sloping aisle, even if I came down the wrong one, carrying a popcorn bucket, the condensation forming on the waxy sides of a tall soda cup moistening my palm. I would know your silhouetted bust. Know your shape and the outline of your hair. Know your gestures, even if unmoving. Know your stillness. I would not need to wait for a daylight scene to take my seat beside you.

There is a man at the carnival that claims that he can guess your age (within three years), your weight (within five pounds) or the year of your car (within two years). If he is wrong, you win a stuffed bear. He will be wrong. What could he know about you? What does he know about love?

A librarian, as well as three time Pushcart Prize nominee, Thomas O’Connell’s poetry and short fiction has appeared in Elm Leaves Journal, Caketrain, NANO Fiction, The Broken Plate, and The Los Angeles Review, as well as other print and online journals. He also happens to be the 2015-2016 poet laureate of Beacon, New York.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Two Somnambulists Bump Into Each Other”?

This tale came about much like the meeting the title implies, two disparate (desperate?) fragments that i didn’t know what to do with – once they had found each other, all i had to do was sit back and watch them as they got to know each other. I would guess that their car is a 2004, but I could be wrong….


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

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Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now open. The reading period for standard submissions closes again December 15, 2023. Submit here.


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