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August 3, 2018 / barton smock

a gun goes off in a dream I don’t have anymore

the root of the animal’s insomnia is not man but the fear of personification.

when my uncle was a baby, he tried to put something in his mouth but couldn’t do it.

grief is the herd my sadness trails.

my mother returns every year to the same spot as if it’s a microwave.

before he goes back to providing the radio play-by-play for an obscure sporting event, father lifts up his shirt to show me the wire jesus wore.

while smoking a cigar in the shadow of a nervous minotaur, my father wrote the book on moral isolation. in it, he predicted there would be a television show about hoarders and that it would turn god into a sign from god. my mother read the book cover to cover during her fourth and fastest delivery. if there were edits, she kept them to herself and put his name beside hers on seasonally produced slim volumes of absolute shyness.

death takes its place at the head of the table to tell the only story it knows to plates of untouched food.

trespassing, I approach two dimming flashlights set upright in cemetery mud that in your recollection are the horns of an empty beast.

as spotless as the dog left it, the baby’s room has come to mean today. above a different dog, people ask us what we’re having. we do our jigsaw of darkness. clone the ape that created god’s boredom.

I find the boy’s name on a list in another boy’s diary. a gun goes off in a dream I don’t have anymore.

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