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Poetry

To wear a vigorous shirt. At See-See Coffee

       in the bathroom, a sticker on the hot-water tank 
 says, It only takes one or two 

seconds to become 
 helpless in flowing grain, or among flowering graves, 
            down where the boats are being unloaded. 
   It happens so swift, that one 

Sphinx

The last time I left your house I saw a moth 
on the black skin of a puddle, ruining herself 
on the moon’s reflection. Dear sphinx hawkmoth 

Victory

The election is over, but we trudge back to the phone bank with our clipboards and scripts. We can still dial the swing states. North Carolina, Florida, Nevada: Can we count on you? Have a blesséd evening!

As in the last days, no one will answer.

Lord of Childhood

We are all enchanted. But we have to pay for it.

You know that part of town where the miners once lived? Sooty frame houses, porches whose floorboards spring up? Rusty screen doors that close with a thrum, then a series of clicks, then a squeak?

Glutoneer

The stillness you prize.
Won’t prize you back. Two beefsteaks.
Ripening on a windowsill. A purple tray.
Piled with coal. From the field.
Of solemn brothers calling.
Your name in unison you learn.
Men are irrelevant but.
Persistent symmetries are not.

Pastoral

Two tree-limb-switched heretics born of Baptist parents, we reveled in a Ouija. But the only black spirits we conjured were our own shadows which flickered against the wall like a private screening. Both of us church boys sweltered in June pews, our bodies a new gospel.

Nocturne

Daddy was a slick devil, so he must have thought my sister his
succubus; a mud-bone Lilith, her lurid tresses struck shut with
igneous flicker when it happened in the black. His cinereous 

peepers, glazed over moons which pierced through Tweety Bird
jammies. He tended to sissy’s unassuming sinew with his eyes first
so as to handle the unfathered clitoris with the only sort of care 

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