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On the Lungomare in Bari at sunset, stalls appear long after the morning’s stray squid
tentacles and fresh fish guts have been hosed away. Rows and rows of glowing, rattling jars
are lined up on rickety tables along the Adriatic coast. Inside are decaying dreams: an
invitation to a dead soldier’s wedding; the sound of a stillborn baby’s rattle; the wizened bud
that froze before it could bloom, all of these and endlessly more. You can buy them and stroll
to the beach strewn up and down with flotsam and jetsam, with faded neon buoys and broken crab cages, and prise off the jar lids to set the dreams free into the balmy evening with Orion overhead as their protector.
Bayveen O'Connell is an Irish writer whose words have appeared in Brilliant Flash Fiction, Janus Lit, Splonk, Ekphrastic Review, Scrawl Place, Fractured Lit, The Forge Lit, Ellipsis Zine, The Lumiere Review, MacQueen's Quinterly, and others. Her stories have received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best Microfiction. She's inspired by travel, history, folklore, myth, and art.
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