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January 3, 2019 / barton smock

{twenty three separations for unlikeness}

SEPARATIONS FOR UNLIKENESS / entries 1 thru 23

~~~~~

god bless the hypnotist who takes up smoking when it goes uncured (my transformative stutter…

god bless the breathing machine, the fog…

the donkey so beaten it recalls itself as a whale’s untouchable nose…

and god bless god for my short life as a father, for my son who says, meaning eyelash (cyclops…

~~~~~

it’s not my imagination that I’m the only foreigner my body recalls, but is that god can change with my stomach the shape of his tears

~~~~~

waiting for her cigarettes to dry, mother starts a bath and says above them that it’s not like any of you are becoming a rib. death, short a person, continues to eat the language god hasn’t. trauma makes a compass of time and place

and brother is not yet the sitting creature of a thoughtless life. I am not there but am allowed to be. I so miss birds.

(the ghost fame of each tadpole

~~~~~

a shadow’s private gravity (a fly on a grieving radar

~~~~~

the boy whose clothes have been taken will swim for hours and for hours know why the soul hides death from god

~~~~~

do they not
look

finished

ear to ear, the toddlers…

their tornado
still theirs, and today’s

sermon
still in the mind
of their mother’s
exterminator
boyfriend
who is having a thought
as rare

as his past, of a god

spotting
from a cobweb
a carcass

and deciding

~~~~~

apparition, or mom
at her most forgetful.

mouth, a shapeshifter’s
chew toy
godless
as a belly button
and babied
by grief.

face, face.

~~~~~

tell me again
how it is
that dream
stops
tooth decay
in angels / why it is

that I can hear
in the darkroom
post-god
the ghost
muscle

of weeping

/ when it was they found the suckling

and not the bones
of a wave

~~~~~

not uncommon in a household of grief

for one
to be bad
with names.

(the radio
an animal
that misses
its bones

~~~~~

I would ask that you name
your dog
loss
is not
a teacher (then love a longer kitten

(like an angel
might
an ashtray, more

even
like your mother

a thing on its way
to being

bird
(or shaped

~~~~~

I eat more in your absence than you do in mine. our animals never meet. I’ve a painting and you’ve a picture of eve reaching for an aspirin. an angel is a ghost on fire.

~~~~~

pushed a lawnmower. jumped on a trampoline. ate with symbolism the freer meals. painted for death what death could sell to a mirror. accused my hair of arson.

~~~~~

before an astronaut can miss a tooth

I see my mother

her face
in a cobweb

~~~~~

pushes
every smoker
a grocery cart
for a six-
fingered ghost

not

true
all children come from god

(the theatrical
parent

~~~~~

there are ways to be happy. you can say priestess and watch your father’s cigarette slip in and out of sleep. you can crush a pill for the dog that’s begun to move like the rabbit it died chasing. you can lick the spoon the mirror’s

(map

~~~~~

father likes to say that touch has lost its mind. mother

be like hunger
and forget
nothing.

(the boy is the boy who teaches death
to read
and I am sad
for death
for years

(in the toy aisle, in a circus
restroom, at the roll

of my son’s
spotless
eye, and at the gate

of the all
girl
cemetery

(also shyly

in the more traditional
babies
of god

(their hesitant
fatigue

~~~~~

in those moments when non-fiction scares only the grey brainchild of poverty

(that fucking angel disrobing a stone with fog…

please read
to feel
nothing

~~~~~

how long
for being god
should god
be punished

to how many mothers have you reappeared

are these
the pebbles

fingerprint and footfall

(have they been
betrayed

~~~~~

match your mouth to its bowl
and lift the bowl

it is very light
be as with
a beaten
angel (careful

lullaby baby out of its hair
hold me (like death

will
as you’ve seen
a brain

(does it look
in places
like a ransom
note

the skin
god hasn’t

~~~~~

the relationships you have with my body
and the relationships
I

(if there’s a god
then why
seed

(a son this ill

an angel
obsessed
with paperbacks (is this

Ohio

or a gift shop where none have prayed

~~~~~

a dog-tamer by day, he’d lose at night his stomach’s paw to a sleepy hand. not there to feed anything, I’d set anyway a fishbowl down for a rocking horse. sometimes a woman would shock me with her finger then put on her shoes. then leave or not exist.

~~~~~

being earlier drawn to a pilot’s imperfect nostalgia,

a hypothetical form
goes online
to cry…

(eyesight is sorrow’s smallest garden
(a whole

church
for the errors
of fiction

~~~~~

a shirtless child sets my food on fire. I want to cut myself but part of me is still teaching god air guitar in an outhouse. stun gun. riding mower. I learn how to point and bulimia

is the ghost

anorexia
isn’t.

mother, in goodbye, means goodbye.

~~~~~

One Comment

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  1. barton smock / Jan 7 2019 1:04 pm

    Reblogged this on kingsoftrain.

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