Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
  • Home
  • About
  • Archive
  • Bio Notes
  • Bookshelf
  • Contents
  • Submit
Prose Poem
SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017


by Jeff Friedman

A hole opens in our living room large enough for a mouse to squeeze through. “Fix it,” my lover says, and leaves the room. But I don’t know how to fix it. Rays of light plunge into the hole or rise from it—I can’t tell. I crawl over and peek into it. There’s a silver river flowing beneath us. It must have washed away the foundations of our home, and yet it’s still standing. I squint and push my head closer to the floor, but can’t see past the river’s surface. When my lover returns, she is angry that I’m not fixing the hole. “What are you doing?” she asks. “There’s a river beneath us,” I answer. “Look for yourself.” She kneels and dips toward the hole. “That’s not a river,” she states. “It’s nothing. Fix the problem.” I go down on my knees again and peer into the hole. The river is gone, leaving dirt and stone. And darkness stares back at me like an angry mouse.


SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Jeff Friedman’s

seventh book of poems, Floating Tales, has just been published by Plume Editions/Madhat Press. His poems, flash stories, and translations have appeared in Poetry International, Poetry, Agni Online, New England Review, The Antioch Review, American Poetry Review, Indiana Review, Missouri Review, Sentence, Smokelong Quarterly, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish Poetry, Flash Fiction Funny, The New Republic, and KYSO Flash.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury