Issue #54

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Loss

He finds himself
bark prodding back & black legs
sap stick & dripping red upon
sleep numb arms

A book on his lap
cover made from wood
stained & polished

Opening it
he finds
himself riding shotgun with an ex
behind the wheel wind coursing through
her hair orange as the tiger lilies bloomed
around the swamp he fell into as a child
the grove croak of frogs
& firefly buzz sprinkling his ear

Throwin’ a fit once his mom
brought him home
reiteratin’
that there was no such thing
as magic

The smart thing to do
            when a tooth is loose:
            pull it out

the root
the gum
no longer stringed & hanging

no longer
a five bucked
tooth fairy
due to a bounced check
& a proposal of separation

among two distant
parties
once joined by a flick of crystal
shoes & a mean pumpkin
pie

There’s a slice left for him
at a diner
he works nine to five
with the same customers
greeting & waving farewell

fresh air leaves with them

trees should be:

green & brown
aged
waxed &
yearning for sun

this tree groans
& mourns
its roots stringed soft

as the fin
shows up
at the end of a funeral brochure
lilies an ivory halo
around aged mandarin locks

a pendulum swings
at twelve counts as

She comes in gold
with halcyon primp
& eyes so moss deep
the earth tremors

He drops that book
to reach out
& stare
as she embraces
his hand

what do ya’ want child?

My Children, Before I Knew Them

orange