The Ultraviolet Mitigator by Paul Edward Costa

This machine shows the defendant’s perceived inner-reality:

He’s in a cramped warehouse. White paint spreads over psychedelic walls. 

He’s looking at a photograph. It shows him on a terrace with hanging vines. The picture is authentic. He knows he stood there, but can’t recall how that vegetation smelt in the spring air. He tries, but manifests nothing.

The doors are welded shut. A rotary phone rings and voices make futile attempts to articulate how the terrace feels. His tics become and remain unsustainably volatile, though he doesn’t say stop for fear of losing their company.

Consider this insight during sentencing. 

Paul Edward Costa is a writer, teacher, spoken word artist, and the 2019-2021 Poet Laureate for the City of Mississauga. He’s published over 60 stories and poems in periodicals such as Aphelion, Bewildering Stories, and Lucent Dreaming Magazine. His short fiction collection “God Damned Avalon” is available from Mosaic Press.

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