The Last Handful of Clover

Excerpt from: “Before the Fall” by Keith Woo

Book Two — Gifts Both Light and Dark

NOTE: This chapter is available in audiobook format on the TLHOC Podcast.
Access previous chapters of the book on the Table of Contents page.

There is a fragility in this
life. This whole feet on
the ground and time passing
by and the wind in your hair
thing. I remember it once felt
solid, like a well built
bridge. But now I see
there are flaws in the design. 

Wings are brittle things—
beautiful patterns in powder
easily smudged or pecked by hungry
birds. Lost battles that leave us flexing
and relaxing, flexing and relaxing,
on wintry morning pavement.

And I would have spared us this,
my love. I would have found a high
branch for us, or deep grass, or
a pocket in your over-sized
shirt. I would have stayed asleep
holding your hand on my pillow—
my steady guardian at
the mouth of the cave.

Alas, we cannot bend
space, and we cannot turn back
time. If we could, I would
fold heaven and earth into
a clumsy paper airplane that
we could hurl at light speed
around the sun. We’d build a
suit of armor out of our desire.
You would vibrate
inside of me, while
your endless song fills
my naked need.

—Excerpt from “Before the Fall” by Keith Woo, as it appears in “The Heavy Work of Vanishing: The Collected Poetry of Keith Woo,” edited by Pi’ilani Kilani, page 241.

The Last Handful of Clover is a supernatural thriller by Wess Mongo Jolley. Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying this story, please consider supporting the author on Patreon.

For more information (including maps of the story’s world and a contact form) visit the author’s website.

To read previous chapters of this book, go to the Table of Contents page.

If you’re interested in listening to the book, rather than reading it, the audiobook is available at the Patreon link above, and also as a podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Anchor, and all other podcast platforms. Visit the podcast page for more details.



Copyright 2021, Wess Mongo Jolley. All rights reserved.

Wess Mongo Jolley

Wess Mongo Jolley is Utah native, who is now an expatriate American novelist, editor, poet and poetry promoter, living in Montreal. He is Founder and Director of the Performance Poetry Preservation Project, and is most well known for hosting the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel podcast for more than ten years. His poems and short stories have appeared or journals such as Off The Coast, PANK, The New Verse News, and Danse Macabre, Apparition Literary Journal, Grain, and in collections such as the Write Bloody Press book The Good Things About America. He loves hearing from readers, and can be contacted through his website, at If you are enjoying this story, please drop him a line, and consider supporting his work as a novelist at All of the trilogy's over 207 chapters are available there for subscribers, and new poems, short stories, and other content is posted there every Friday.

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