From the Hill Over the Sea

From the Hill Over the Sea By JD Miller In the cottage at the top of the hill, the dew was still glistening on the lawn. Nobody had been by to call in three days, but the flowers in the crystal vase remained as immaculate as if they’d been clipped only moments ago. At the bottom of the hill, where the sea sprawled beneath the gray sky, a ship was passing by, small and faded red.  From the cottage at the top, the woman watches, smiles, waves, as though the men on the ship know just where to point their … Read More

One Perfect Chord

One Perfect Chord By JD Miller One perfect chord  Kept drifting in through the walls  Of our brand new apartment,  One piece of what my wife, With her feet up in my lap Tells me is a very famous song.  One perfect chord, And a bunch of other very good ones, They kept on marching in, From who knew where,  An invisible piano, an invisible pianist,  Faceless, nameless, genderless (Though I imagine a woman, her face  Barred by light from the mini blinds,  A practicing bird inside a bright cage,  Of 500 square feet) It was as if the morning … Read More

Not More

Not More By JD Miller He gave her a hug that knocked the sunglasses off the top of her head. It wasn’t unfriendly in any way. But that was just the problem, wasn’t it? Not unfriendly, but not…more.  Sitting on the bus, that’s all she could think about. Not more.  Not more could be the slogan for her whole year. Her life motto. She could practically see it on her gravestone. This, and this, yes—but not more.  Not unfriendly. And at least she’d gotten a hug. She hadn’t always. He wasn’t always a hugger. He was a smiler, a back-of-crowd … Read More


Idle By JD Miller Maurice lived on the opposite side of the day. He worked while most people slept, he slept alone while most people were awake together. And most of his friends were dead. He didn’t mind so much anymore. They were more dependable this way. He knew right where to find them, because they never left his apartment.  See, for the most part, ghosts are incredibly idle. They spend their disjointed piece of eternity standing over the grave of their former self, or staring at trees in a park. Every day, Maurice pedaled past a hundred such ghosts, … Read More

Crane Over Water

Crane Over Water By JD Miller Crane, over the water:  I see the reflection of you Distorted in the mirror  And the fog,    The curve of your long body,    Bending like the moon   To touch the earth–   A single petal from    A single bloom–   Your wings spread out for balance    And one foot    Raised up, so you can   Shave your soapy legs.   

The Human Café

The Human Café By JD Miller Introduction: A picture of a café:  Let me tell you a story.  It’s not a very pretty story. But there aren’t very many stories that are pretty all the way through and still worth telling.  It starts with a bench, beside a window; vinyl and ketchup and ceiling fans basking in lethargy. The dull glow of neon and forgetfulness, a table steeped in coffee-stains. Home. I loved it and it loved me back—almost as living as I was.  There is no small part of me that thanks that place for keeping me alive. But … Read More