November 2, 2023


Deft steps shed at dawn
inside a shotgun
won’t cauterize this
existential bruise,

or move back this path
gouged out by God, his
gap-toothed grace. Don’t wake
daddy played for keeps

for couch-surfers for
thieves for the greasy
alcoholics. You who
worship the gris-gris

light of a Bud-stocked
fridge, you who find
aesthetic all forms
of blithe confinement:

meanwhile God lies fast
asleep and the river
vermin scuttle up
from the Natchez,
their bodies black
with gasoline.

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A Journal of International Poetry
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