Justin Lawrence Daugherty

Where I Fail To Put Up A Fight

In another version of the story, I do
not die. In another, I die one-thousand
times, but always return. Another:
I am resurrected and you are the final
boss at the end of a game. You try to kill
me by a lake, wielding dystopias, & I fall,
weapon-less. In this version, I return, &
you unleash an army of singing bees.
I can do this all again & again, but
the ending’s always the same.
You are at sea and I forget how to build
a boat made of the man I could have been.
Until I can master time travel,
you will be dark matter, unseen, lost &
untouched. If I enter the battle I will lay down
my weapons like a hero, powerless, and await
onslaught. This: I would be defeated by you
one hundred more times if it meant never
drowning. Defeat me again and again
so at least I’ll bear the scars of you.


Justin Lawrence Daugherty lives in Atlanta, runs Sundog Lit, edits Cartridge Lit (a mag of literature inspired by video games), and tweets @jdaugherty1081. He enjoys sleeping and hop-heavy beer.