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March 26, 2021 / barton smock

~ some after, some before

( note )

People will steal absence before conceding that what is there is for everyone. If we were vacant, previously, what does that hold for the future of nothing left?

*

UNTITLED

I have my pipe
and you
your cigarette

each
our bone
with a raindrop
in it

our grandfathers
are dead
are still
dead
and we’re
near a water

a water that is really
a circle
afraid
of stick figures
some of which
I still
draw

their invisible
zeroes
kissing
in a thunderstorm
that god
can’t remember

*

AFTERNOTES

/

age three inside of my arm there is a dark cloud that longs to live in a fingertip. age seven I am told there is a cloud but darkness belongs to my arm. age eight I forget which arm and ask no one. age now god uses a mother’s grief to eat the tail of a ghost. age then the angel of insect discipline has more newborns than teacups and blows on the bird-rolled dice. whole bodies fall asleep playing dead.

//

Worm got itself worm hearing sound beg god for a shadow. Hold tight I guess what glows with desertion. They never ran did they

them trains
I was pretty on?

(I miss you telling me who to miss)

///

it had to happen
your birth
for us to know
how much
of our breathing
was changed
by a mask

stay small, leaf
dying is death’s way

of asking
to be buried
does it hurt

that we visit
your dog


*

THE YEAR OUR SON THOUGHT WE LOVED HIM

lasted longer than most dogs
but there was
this one
stray
we saw
often

it had one
abandoned
healthy
eye
inside of which

our belongings
were small enough
to have

*

THE YEAR OUR SON SPOTTED DEER ON THE MOON

it made
some sense
then
to cut
our past
in half

*

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