The 27th Letter of the Alphabet
by Mario Aliberto III
If I were to define you, pen to paper, I’d have to create a new letter to invent a new word. Perhaps the squiggle shape of a bird in flight, a flattened ‘M.’ As if the letter were prepared to take off from the page, steal away with the word clutched in its talons. The letter’s sound would fall quickly, like the fourth tone in Mandarin, like mating bald eagles locking feet and diving towards the earth. It’s dangerous, loving you. You won’t let go until we crash. I’d invent a word for that.
Mario Aliberto III is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated writer whose work is published or forthcoming with trampset, The Sonora Review, Fractured Lit, and others. He lives in Tampa Bay with his wife and daughters, and yet the dog still runs the house. Twitter: @marioaliberto3
I was drawn in by the deceptive simplicity of this piece and the beauty of its language. Of the many stories on the theme of relationships and love sent into the prize, this one stood out in its original approach.