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between words and the fear of words

today as simple as an
earthquake in a
third-world country

priests leave messages
on my answering machine
and failed poets mail me
suicide notes

i lead high school girls
into the woods
at the edge of town

i cut them wide open

what spills out is
one form of hope
one color of god

or else i stay home

alone behind locked doors
caught between words
and the fear of words

a coward
but happy in my
own small way

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