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Over the RhineTo L. J. Denney's next piece


abounds all around us
life getting in a quick subtle stab
a smile flickering
across the withered face of morning

sitting in church 11 am Sunday
the wafer  -  the body
the wine   -   the blood
watching people down their sip of grape juice
its color in the tiny fragile glass
the same hue
as blood mixed with heroin
in the plastic barrel of a syringe

ninety degrees outside
air conditioner humming coolness within
women in Sunday school class
clucking hens
talk of poor souls
who have lost their minds to drugs

I smile
check to be sure
my sleeves are pulled down

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