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November 26, 2019 / barton smock

edits, sameness, etc.

~

KNOWN ACHE

I won’t keep you in suspense. I was born and then at a strip club crying for those tender people whose children put in private the final touches on god. also there is a meal being prepared that you won’t be able to finish before you die. the preparer of that meal has a least favorite creature and believes hundreds of corpses were dragged from eden by animals that were trying to experience joy. save it when you can

the last of the robot’s short grief

~

CORRECT ACHE

an angel leaves heaven to touch paper as a circle from my childhood rolls toward an empty jack-in-the-box. I am old enough to be sad and too old to separate deer facts from church facts. my children fall asleep before their hands fall asleep.

~

CLEAN ACHE

punched in our stomachs for remembering the sea, we are in a church that goes to church. it is here that a drop of god’s blood can change paper into plastic and here that bread is the bread and butter of hunger and hunger the oldest child in nothing’s choir. here that I count for a son who cannot count. for a son who sleeps on land on the lamb of his illness. (water is still the smallest toy and our mouths still come

from the same
noise

~

SALT ACHE

perhaps I am the thing that overtook me. that in its becoming was able to feel guilty about doing so. what if death is just looking for the one it’s named after. lonely I can almost see my eyes.

~

RABBIT ACHE

I can’t sit
for very long
without wanting
to smoke.

this is the flower
I pick
for my ghost.

~

REALM ACHE

I stand in a ruined field and preach longevity to a god that stares through me at the empty highchair of some freckled thing. my age is with me, there, and there to mean how far can I throw my food. if I close my eyes, I can see touch as a mirror that’s been used by my mother to describe sleep.

~

LIT ACHE

upon waking, my son knows he’s been moved. beside him I am crooked until he bites my arm. he is as heavy as the stomach of the angel that nightly kisses mine. illness has the patience of a shadow but cannot teach my eyes to kneel. time is god’s tenure as the lost tooth of sleep.

~

BEGINNING ACHE

the crow’s fear of inclusion. eve’s perfectly forgotten ribs. the nothing I mean to my dentist. the cemetery where all the un-boyed went to eat paper. the band-aid in the belly of a baptized child. yawn of kites.

~

DRAWINGS

i.

a mosquito
on the thigh
of god

losing
its mind

ii.

an old
idea
one had
of stars

iii.

waiting with an uncle
for any
colorblind
doll

to pass
the salt

iv.

child in a hospital asking does time have enough food

v.

is snow
the mother
of distance

~

YEARS ACHE

my children haven’t gone a day without their stomachs. sometimes I lift my shirt and I think they mind. I want to tell them but won’t about the party we can’t throw for a dog whistle. fish are still building the sea.

~

ELDER ACHE

show me
the fireflies
of yours
that get
sad
around human
stomachs

(there is
a table

rain
will set

~

WITH ACHE

a lonely child makes no fist and snow arrives to draw a snake. I mean to chew but forget. your knock-knock jokes have gotten better. I don’t hate your stories. the head-kisser’s

bowling
score.

tornado that lost our emptiness.

~

CLAW ACHE

the soft spot
god has
for the nest
of a fasting
bird.

the stone my brother
saw
give birth.

aspirin
that will put

plastic
in your stomach. crucifix,

or the kitten
unseen
by swan.

a clump of hair in the newborn’s hand.

~

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