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September 23, 2022 / barton smock

2018, edits and doing away


A plastic doll with a human right hand distracts us from the parrot’s empty cage. Our poverty is so advanced it keeps a fake diary and a real diary but hides them in the same spot. The dark, the ocean. I have two reasons to believe god has not stopped creating. Anger has gone the way of the milkman. His doomed child with her piece of chalk. Her puppets all of them slapped into believing the mirror’s memory is for show. A mime bites into a bar of soap. A man not making siren sounds is pulled over by a man who is. After a child drowns in a child, the church bathroom is scrubbed in full view of the elderly. While thunder remains god’s most solemn prank, the moon is the bottom of a prop tree. My father in the shower holds a cigarette above his head. There are egg shells on the floor of heaven.


Death takes its place at the head of the table to tell the only story it knows to plates of untouched food. Father lifts up his shirt to show me the wire jesus wore. In the trespass of elsewhere, two brothers approach two dimming flashlights set upright in cemetery mud that in your recollection are the horns of an empty beast. I return to my mother's spot as it's a microwave.

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