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Hyperbole

By 

Jack Freeman

“What time will the cabinet crash down?” I asked. “Later today,”

she said, making crepes at the stove top. “That's no good,”

I said because it was no good. “Tell me the sugar content

of French bread.” “Two cubes,” she said, paused, and said,

“Two cubes,” this time without lying. “That can't be so,” I said

through a mouthful of cantaloupe. Sirens in the distance. “When's

the tour?” she asked. “Later today,” said I after a moment

of untamed rage. “When will the world end?” I asked, unknowing.

“Far too soon,” she replied. A tour bus huffed down the side street

toward the harbor. “May I tell you about my parents’ religion?”

I asked. “May I tell you about my ancestral home?” “After this song,”

she said through the silence. “The light is nice this morning.” “It's

afternoon,” I replied. “I meant what I said,” said she of the sun. Then,

into her phone: “Find me a lover.” The building’s furnace awoke.

“What did you mean,” I began, “when you spoke to the ocean breeze

coming off the sea? What sights do you see, eyes closed, when you

lay in the quiet bosom of the night with me?” “Seventeen million matches,”

she said, indifferently. “Okay,” said I. A cloud came between sun and

window pane. “In light of recent developments,” I continued,

“the asteroid will strike the planet in one hundred and forty-two hours.”

“Oh,” she said. “Waves will reach thirty-five point eight meters high,” I said.

“A little over one hundred and seventeen feet.” “What of the fishermen?”

she said and stepped toward me. “The wave will devastate the coastal

interior of twenty-one Indian Ocean nations.” “What will happen,”

she spoke, “to the fisherman and his four young children for whom

he provides?” “Global sea levels will rise three meters within

thirty-six hours,” I said and clenched my fists. She shook

my forearm and said, “What about their little shack where

the Madonna’s portrait hangs above their shared bed, the mattress

for which he saved so long?” “By now the atmosphere will ignite.”

“The children— nine, eight, four, and sixteen months—  

their eyes, so deep, in the cool light of dusk—” “Billions will perish

from the catastrophic disintegration of the ozone layer.” She trembled.

“They wait for him every day near the shallow cove, next to

the cigarette shop with the faded placard.” The wall clock

ticked on the wall. The black odor of burnt crepes washed

our clothing. She released my arm. I hummed Le Marseillaise.

She asked, “Is it too late to find God?” Before I could answer,

the cabinet collapsed in the corner.

Quiz question:

What will devastate the coastal interior of twenty-one Indian Ocean nations?

discovery of life on mars

discovery of life on mars

news of Priyanka Chopra's secret wedding to Wolf Blitzer

news of Priyanka Chopra's secret wedding to Wolf Blitzer

a tidal wave

a tidal wave

the new dance-craze, "the derelict street-sweeper"

the new dance-craze, "the derelict street-sweeper"

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Issue 14

published 

September 22, 2017

Hyperbole is written by Jack Freeman, who is a student at Wichita State University. His work has appeared in Hinchas de Poesia, inter|rupture, New Welsh Review, and pretty much everywhere else, which may or may not be a hyperbole.

i dont feel like fininishing this website right now and i am sorry

My boyfriend has straight

up asked me if I would say

yes if he proposed.

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Issue 14

This writing was originally published in Opium Magazine, and is not listed in the Lit.cat archives.
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