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June 17, 2016 / barton smock


some older, some edits, some alone:

[the wave]

we let the phone ring out because it keeps the babies quiet. we have this dance we do to straighten side leaning semi-trailer trucks. the sports we play require that one’s sickness occur only when it’s run through the others. we limp beside any creature that limps. the great romance of a complete thought is something our parents plan to leave each other. our father is two mathematicians who argue. our mother says her feet feel as if they’re still in prison for what she’ll take to her grave. our guesses mean little because they are facts. at school we are voted on and kissable. if you see us coming, sex is a small unplugged television on top of a small casket. details belong to god.


[the lost]

before it is dark enough to carry the television into the forest and leave it, a mother checks the oven for her loaf of black bread. her overseas child follows a dead fly to another dead fly and so on. her sensitive brother turns over in his grave to be on all fours. her wiser husband rips the cord from the base of the television and uses it to whip the basement door. when the door opens, any dog will do.



the dark, the ocean.

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

our father
had this phrase

all in good time

my anger has gone the way of the milkman.

his doomed child
with her piece of chalk.


[the jailed they get ideas]

dodgeball, no one sad

praying mantis
eating blood
from a bowl
of dreams

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