They fly into the sea
like a ghost's imagination
and its bewildered dream.
Upon the shore for a brief time
their songs echo, skip

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Poetry workshops
trauma and abuse
A room of fourteen teens
about to age out of foster care

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It is evening all afternoon. Winter all spring and summer. There are nights when Mr. Mallard looks up from his desk and swears he sees the shadow of his missing wife brush to and fro before the panes.

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None of this may make the slightest difference
in how the earth and the sun and universe revolve.
But we are human and addicted to action,
​the probable less attractive than the possible.

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for I know this world will break her too
the way it broke me, the way it broke my ancestors, so I have to 
​help her long before she begins believing she's irreparable like pearls that know they can never go back to their celestial shells

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Also, one of the dangers of reading
is when it’s cold and people need heat
you will get into trouble for reading
anything earmarked for fuel.

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         Whispering scissors.
   One skeletal
 raconteur breeds
     a wooden mood. Metallic puddles

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A toxic hue fans out across the globe,
infecting the hills and herds of people,
the various populous, causing pangs 
of endless delusion to rage
across the spacetime 
​of a planet already faltering. 

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This old blood. Old-fashioned in its
primary colors. Then shaved ice
came along in digital billboards
of blue raspberry; and we softened
on progress, and our teeth ached

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We’re the ones that remember words like buggery
and deviant, fairy and fudge packer and pansy
 
Words we traded and collected
​like bubble gum cards.

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Another august handful of peace explodes
in a minister’s hand as a ritual of freedom
while the battalion of nation’s pride marches

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you can tear down a house
but its crumbled soul will infest what’s built upon
cross-bred into apartments and inconsistent utilities
​the rain curious about where it’s never been

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germ gentrification
                        moves in hard,
black air for black lungs,
black water for black thirst
black plague for black neighborhoods

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Provided they came 
in fancy wrapping, the 
German intellectual 
of the interwar years
could perceive utility 

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the sun drives the weary away deliverance from absolute forgiveness into the madness of the mind surely I am already born a man on this Earth so how is it possible that I have never gone mad?

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greed
of the candidates
I cannot name

masses in the country
​a homeless camp

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Snipers in the bushes of other people's eyelashes
A premature engagement ring on a severed finger of a severed hand
​And everywhere there are faces faces faces

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After linking the dominance of the world’s
shallow thinking to the arrogance of living in the present,
declaring the past irrelevant, and labeling the future
as taking care of itself, it is refreshing and comforting
​to see someone complain that the world is unlovable

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it makes me want to dance
and sing!
the way the comedian
tells the joke!
​and everyone laughs and laughs

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We were too late for God. Roots like fingers gripping white buckling sky. This summer it is order that cramps the ancient wheat, crows that slash with departure air thick with the annihilation of love.

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How terribly strange to be impregnated 
by an uncle, a father, a neighbor,
a teacher, a doctor.
Remaining silent at 17, 
carrying the attack,

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he sprayed weed killer
on your roses.
It was to prove a theory –
chemicals don’t discriminate.

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The rest of this story has to be in someone else’s hand. I’m not brave enough to write out all this sadness. This story has to be turned away from any beautiful dread, from any sexy alarm, from excuses, from the biochemical shell game.

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bloody hurricane to surgical
            light     psalm for this scalpel
gutting from cutis
nerve from fascia

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He loved the film
about the writer that
didn't write anymore,
just drank to excess
every day. He had
given up writing for
​the bottle as well.

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I do remember a huge
bird dancing on the crown of my head
when I couldn’t tell air from water.
By the way,
did you know that the stars are rootless

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             dried seaweed
             the happiness 
             of accidents

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As their ranks dwindled a pile grew, and he sat vigil upon its promontory cross-legged like a yogi, assured those who’d successfully escaped his clutches would not send aid for them cornered remaining.

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One woman obsessively checked herself in the mirror for worrying signs that she was developing an archaic hour-glass figure. When I opened my mouth to speak, it was like I had raised the lid of a music box.

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Nobody knows where they were
any such day, night, or why. I summon the high
literature of motiveless malignity.
Six succulent
cheap thrills on a doily, rearranged.

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Because as child after child falls into the world, someone has to catch them, wrap them up in donkey skin, and coax them into the feverish ballroom that only opens its doors once in every lifetime.

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Now, 20 years later, boots and scars remain.
Officers, official allegations. The
Oval Office, a space ___ miles from on the ground operations.
Orders incite disorder.

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it’s tree time!
I am without
 
the sporting news

​on the final earth

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pOd
uPoN
pOd
of sink dwellers pondering
the mighty zoot suit scuba diving
                     machine guns

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Gathering like a herd of elephants
senior citizens flock to Florida, initiate
death rituals, determine how to live out
remaining days while negating 
a woman’s right to healthcare and choice.

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Festus races into the wet street, skittering on flats strapped up to his thighs with pink ribbons. The gleaming penis lights up the puddles and the wet asphalt like a disco with a dark grey ceiling as it bounces back and forth across his thighs.

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