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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is a small town with its hands stuck together
maybe in prayer
marshland dreamwaking to glass shattering
song of cactus & motor oil angels
pages of a dust-caked book closinglike an opium sunset over the
memory of tide partiesblocked out by
shiny skyscrapers

I put on black face paint likewaterfowl hunters
as I walk through the streetspast an old white Volvo
rusted by salt atmospherewith a giant teddy bear
in the passenger seat & a picture ofJesus on the dash.

I imagine a girl somewhereblowing up balloons
so she can hear the voice of God clearer.
I carry my

bootlegged heartthrough pickleweed& grass
as I watch shorebirds leaving trackslike invisible
serpent skeletonsin the sky.

I search for a church made of bony teeth & pearls
a beheaded body left gutted bywater& mud
I become a small animal the size of a harvest mousesinking back into
its shadow
mirroring this spectral villagesinking back into the
Its leftover parts like a compass made from a needle& a wine-red leaf
drowning in abowl made of ghosts  

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