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January 28, 2016 / barton smock

{edits, from discontinued collection / we stole not the same bread / 2014 }

 

[premises]

he is cheating
resurrection.

his baby is a baby
in that it tries
to leave

a note
for god.

his mother lets it go
on the roof
of a hospital
about the kids
she saw
fucking
in a grocery
cart.

proof

yearns.

~

[root]

I left quietly
the pet store
of haunted animals.

a drifter preaching polyamory
took mental note
of my appearance.

a man was my father.

~

[outer life]

they’d say his head was hard because it was too small for god to kiss. when he’d come into town, he’d leave with children we’d not seen except on posters. his welcome mat was a napkin spotted with blood from a Q-tip. save for the tiny matter of Jesus, our parents gave him little to do.

~

[the bridge]

let me not pray
for this man
who captured
on film

for the last time
in its environment
god’s bed. let me not

be consumed
by this man’s return
to the inexact art
of home. let me obsess

instead
over a portrait
of myself
trapped
by aging, let me grow

to my waist
my hair
might it burn
might I then

to the accumulation
of sight
and sight’s
potential

bow

~

[captions]

underling animals
in times
of quake /

slight
swellings

in brain
of maybe
one mole

bottled
now
for sea /

if on a baby
your hands
would be

so cute

but as
an adult

you glove them /

world as wheelchair
the wheelchair
from which

god rose /

as sporadic
surges
switch on

the sink’s
disposal

pull thorns
from the rabbits
you dream

~

[I saw my youngest brother born]

I saw his mouth.
I thought he’d ripped.

~

[the small]

I acquired you as an infant from a gentleman who needed parts for a radio he planned to invent. listening to his radio was a long way off. you sat early. you called me mother before I was ready. if I was good, you’d play a videocassette to watch it dream. I looked at stars and you were a toddler. our life was life on other planets until the gentleman returned. he said he’d seen satan in a space suit and that satan had given him signs of sexual abuse. you were not unrecognizably depressed but did start a fire in a photograph.

~

[cure]

the dark, the ocean.

I have two reasons to believe god
has not stopped creating.

our father
had this phrase

all in good time
psychic

my anger has gone the way of the milkman.

his doomed child
with her piece of chalk.

~

[bait]

I didn’t see it
like some kids
saw it-

pain
as clay.

a swat here or there
to the back
of a mother’s
mind.

a man who took a bowling ball
into a closed garage
had no sadness
I could pray
over.

…Santa smoked on the roof
of my father’s house
while I
with a noiseless
stomach

touched
that hunger.

~

[how to live in the country dark]

toss frogs
into a fire
your father made.

find a woman
who’s abandoned herself
to being led
by a stick, let

her blind
mongrel
lick
your palm.

bury a handful
of gravel
call it
the moon’s
grave.

hide in houses
hidden
from road.

make at least one friend
whose night vision
is a glass of milk.

double your body
by walking
drunk.

~
[irrevocably child]

pressing
a cigarette
into the double
absence
of what
has become
the snowman’s
mouth
the woman
begs
for a light…

it is a thing done softly
in a larger movement
of searching
belly-up
the nowhere

that sober
looks funny
alone

~

[tell it to my brother]

a widow
with three hands
has ten
doomed
acquaintances.

god’s tacklebox is too light
to carry.

think of it as your ascent into feminine indifference.

think of your son as the incurable
made
thing

on the factory floor
of my son’s
use.

a male mime
bites into
a bar of soap…

sex
is a bruise
in a blizzard

~

[mendicant]

this doorbell
is for the inside
of your house

to some
you’re the giant
you’re not

hearing isn’t for everyone

a fog-softened man
with a baby
might experience
a sense
of boat
loss…

hurt

what you know

~

[crystal]

a foster boy using an alias teaches my son to shoot.

it’s the tooth fairy on a sad day finds
under my pillow
a handgun.

you know your father
is a night owl.

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