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October 6, 2020 / barton smock

(percent sign

kingsoftrain

~

fromanimal masks on the floor of the ocean

long gone are the insects
you forgave

this storm, the whale
of oblivion’s
white feast, this moon

the word
moon

*

I go places
in my ghost
that are children
when I arrive. they call me

high grass, lord
of the wind’s
blood. most of them
have lost
babies
with dog
names
to birth
or touch, our brief

attractions
to déjà vu

*

to be unthought of is to be one more person away from pain. no cricket you hear is alone. in my boy’s drawing of jesus, the ears are all wrong. his first sad poem is about an oven. his second calls dust the blood of a seashell. his third is so terrible that I tell my friends I’m just a gravedigger who wants to open a hair salon. my friends they are made of grief and brilliance…

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