we sleep above the roots our legs knotted our hands folded beneath us listening for the weeds to rinse from our ears all the twitches of the road we have seen all there is, you say, and we will eat what first must be blessed — old hamburger meat and flour tortillas from torn plastic […]

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Ruby, my dear

(Inspired by Ruby, My Dear by Thelonious Monk) She has forgotten the beats of her lightness the circadian rhythm of rest of motion of rest each passing morning presses into her belly and each passing day cinches around her hips and each passing night brails across her breasts and each passing year reaches a suffocating […]

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Sarah, the sky that overlooks you and me, it opened up again today. The light that fills up the dogwoods is the same that curdles the cemetery gardenias. This has become summer once more, so you probably remember how things are colored, and then erased, without me telling you. We have taken to planting crops […]

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The Great twenty-one

Gina, in one of our last bewildered days, stood beside me at arm’s length inside the bone-cracked shack we shared. We watched that day finish in a purl of pretty mauve. We heard the timpani come from the open-windowed kitchens of steam-plaited spoons upon handed-down soup bowls and we waited for Mister Constantine’s late-day aria […]

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The last angel of the Lord

I thought I was kneeling before the last angel of the Lord, knees crimped in a puddle of Oklahoma dirt, feet swole in my least pair of shoes. “I am done being exhausted by you,” I cried out. “I have lived my years as well as I knew. I have worn my face as honest […]

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A slow catena of ghosts

Oh, Maria, this road: It has taken me to places I never want to see again, shown me a hundred fevered fields bearing fruit through rough clay skin. It is an untidy tapestry of blunted hearts bound by the same heavy weave, a slow catena of ghosts singing what they can remember in the words […]

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The nineth part of a sparrow

(Adult language and sexual themes) Thersites: Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters! his evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbed his brain more than he has beat my bones: I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater is not worth the nineth part of a sparrow. […]

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Cinnamon Suites

Suite 1 Evelyn-Jean Jones knows she does not look like that beige-blonde girl on page 28 of her brother’s Field & Stream October issue — the page with the below-the-fold advertisement for Kodiak boots and, apparently, women’s shorty-shorts — the magazine he keeps buried under his collage of college brochures — the brochures he broodily […]

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