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August 7, 2018 / barton smock

the home life of victims

some bloody eared stranger at the door is listening as if to a radio where being announced by name are the blow-up dolls gone missing from the home life of victims.

in the two accepted versions of the story you have a son your husband beats. in the third and final version your three equally tall sons lift you privately from a parade honoring your nude scene. this is theirs.

similar persons of colder weather gather elsewhere and disrobe.

all await
the dog of evening.

its blindfolded boy.

he spends a few good hours trying to pin the small shadows of overhead birds beneath his feet. his wakefulness is a gift handed down by a sister he had to stop making up.

I squeeze my infant son until he is young enough to remember impressionism’s grocery.

I skin my knee a total of three times. I begin seeing Jesus but only when I’m awake. he demands nothing. he is thankful for my knee and for my indifference. he speaks so fondly of my braces I leave them on my teeth a year too long. my father has me put my head back mornings before church so he can run the hair dryer on low over the open ache my mouth has become. I talk on purpose when he does this and he laughs and forgets about my mother who smokes on the roof in her Sunday beast.

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