Stephanie McCarley Dugger

Issue #
February 28, 2015

Sterling Hancock

in memory

He was baptized in a basement.
And calls it a lost art.
They gave him a certificate so he wouldn’t forget.
He chews on his fingers when he wants to be sentimental.
His sister is young, married, far away.

He has a yellow parakeet. The parakeet sits on his wrist.
He scrapes his thumbnail against his teeth to say Yes, I want to.
He built a circle of stones.
The stones were all the same color.
The stones were many different colors.
After a month, they made him tear it down.

He practices writing numbers with both hands.
His hands are long and thin.
His nails clipped close.
He says God speaks to him through a box.
He opens the box and yells inside.
Can you hear me?

He buried his bird in the worn spot near the house.
The spot where he throws his scraps each night.
Dogs eat the scraps and the grass will not grow back.

He knows Icarus did not fall into the water.
Just before he hit, his arms spread and he skimmed the water.
He skimmed the water with his fingers, with his knees.

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