Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Words in a Dead Girl’s Mouth

I return as father’s prayers that no longer try
To convince him the Lord is kind and merciful.

I cannot return by miracle, as the plastic invention
Working to heal frustration from daily chores.

And not when father eyes Venus, who always returns,
But distantly in the sleepless hours. I return

As mother tinkers with muted dangers she forgot
To explain. Someone let me leap from the porch,

And I thought this made me everything except a target
Lead obliges. Singing as an unending amputation

I always return. Even if I could, I doubt there is money
For such things. So, I return the well-known secret

Of the uninvited emissary. Each day, my parents return
To what pays them—just as someone paid someone

To fix the lead with powder, and some show-off boy
Struck it with a hammer. And it arrived as if begging,

As if excited for my blood spreading earnestly
As twilight beneath a burned-out streetlamp.  

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