The Shine Journal

Exceptional Flash, Poetry, Art and Photography!



Jessica Knauss


I didn’t mind being defined by you
until one day,
I looked up my definition
in the smallest dictionary I have.

I looked under I
and there was nothing.
So I checked myself
and it wasn’t there.
Nothing for me and nothing for my and mine.

I turned pages. I lifted markers.
I strained my muscles, turned the gargantuan book over,
and at the very end I saw you.
And there was my name,
my thoughts,
my face,
my heart,
and it was all a synonym for you.

False book,
it’s the only one
I feel right burning. 

Motivation: "Dictionary" was the result of a profound sense of relief that a relationship I thought was healthy and wasn't, was finally over.

Tell us about yourself-BIO! Born and raised in Northern California, Jessica Knauss has become something of a wanderer. She has participated in many writer’s groups and workshops. Her nonfiction has appeared in Medieval History Magazine, Hortulus, LL Journal, and the encyclopedia The World and Its Peoples. She has published fiction in Fiction Collective (June 9, 2010), Full of Crow Quarterly Fiction (July 2010), Bewildering Stories, This Mutant Life (September 2010) and Short, Fast and Deadly (issue 30). You can find her novella Tree/House, about a woman’s awakening through sleeping in trees, online at Amazon and Target. Get updates on her writing at her Facebook page.

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Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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- David Brinkley




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