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Look, the Human Is Shrinking

ISSUE:  Fall 2016


It’s normal to do it alone, the feint-and-jab
           of forgetting. I believe in only what I can recite 

from memory, like the ninety-nine names
           for thirst: soft-hell, root-torn-from-soil, rain-

on-a-nipple, and so on. My cat is loyal as any drug, mewing
           his meek salaam while Laika blinks down from the stars 

like a little arrow caught in a cloud. A lot of good
           good does anyone. I’ll tell you now, I’ll fail 

your polygraph, spoil any sweet you put in front me.
           Even my mother’s plastic fruit is rotting quietly 

in her kitchen, where she waltzes daily around a jar of my baby teeth.
           If you spin in one room for a lifetime, 

everything really does start to slide into sense.
           Every fear I’ve ever had has become 

a different fear. I’ve wasted so much time counting
           poker chips in hospital parking lots, pressing 

my ear to the moral high ground. The voices
           I heard there sounded so solemn, wet 

as the inside of an egg. Deathless heartbeat-counting Creator, how
            did you ever expect me to do anything 

besides what I have done?


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