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‘Life, Without’ by Lynsey Morandin​​

— Joyce Chong

But he doesn’t know what I know. He doesn’t know that nothing has sprouted, that there are no roots. He doesn’t know that inside me it’s a desert,

Today I have a beautiful flash fiction by Lynsey Morandin published in Jellyfish Review. Part fable, part metaphor, this short but succinct story takes on a very real conflict and adds an almost mythical quality to it. In ‘Life, Without’ we see the body as dug earth, life not as a sudden spark, a hurried and hastily present suddenness, but as slow and planned expectance. This story is not only an exploration of the dually edged term, “barrenness”, but also a re-framing of the ways in which we view the creation of life, painted in divisions; the internal and the external, the spoken and the unspoken. What we know but do not say, what we say but cannot know.

This is always the time he loves most. This is when he can show me pictures of the perfect planter pot and talk about a house with more light than the one we’re in now.

It’s almost surprising the different ways the analogy can be extended, to the types of flowers anticipated, to the parallel of flowers as gifts, offerings that accentuate distinct moments of life. What we give at birth, at love, at death or loss or misfortune. It’s a particularly heartbreaking note, the want, the hope, the irreconcilable ways nature exists carelessly, unbothered by us.

I’ve never seen anyone want anything so bad. That’s why I keep my mouth shut and smile when he tells me daylilies are his favorite but that he knows I love peonies.


Jellyfish Review