Such a careful thing,

the rain. My father

can awake again 

in a field of watermelons. 

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As if to undress you

the wind blows and draws

the ocean up into pretty

little breaths. The clouds

vague the horizon and

forget the world of color,

so that, where once bronze

and blue and holy, the beach

becomes a thrift store blouse.

What might be a family or

just four other shadows

rub and crease and stain

the beach black. The pier

hustles at the sea indefinitely,

and shelters the boy beneath.

Looking small beside the concrete

pillars, he spins his light, the only figure

fighting to spit a brightness and

a burning back on to that beach.

The beach unfolds itself from him,


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Six – Fi

Nikolai stood at the precipice

of the great golden rock, flicking

the metallic flakes from

his helmet like dandruff. The

mercurial rain quickly

began to fall and his skin and

the land shone slippery with the

chrome and slick of the alien wet.

This world had made Nikolai akin to itself

despite his domed helmet

and pillowy suit, his hair and fingernails,

blood and spit. Nikolai held his

own hand in sudden desolation,

but both hands beckoned for

the other beneath their thick, gloved

tombs. Desperately, he felt himself blink and

blink and breathe and swallow. He licked his own

lips and cried. The tears referenced the lines

of his face in their path to the mouth. The only

known water was running down his face. A map

was made of salt and he tasted it then. No

one would ever hope to hear the man scream.

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Yusef said dimentia
under his brown
felt hat. Said a man
on fire: be cool. Said it
blue, a swarm of. Said
its words fell out, burning.
Said one day you’ll forget
what. Said an elephant
herd, to the soles of their
feet. Said pull that hat
up a bit. Said let me kiss
you there, Yusef. Said
the words fell out, just so,
said Yusef. Said dimentia,
beneath his brown felt hat.
Just said it.

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Five – Cinnamon

Grab cinnamon, then
climb the building and
sprinkle it upon the
unsuspecting heads
of the people below. Rain
down upon them that
spice with all of the fervor
of Emeril Lagasse. Do it
passionately and with great
care, as if you are keeping
a secret for the one
that you love, upon which
their happiness depends.
You hang that dust
on the wind and the good
people will stare up in wonder
at the red tide flecking the sky,
eyes wide, blood vessels blooming
to match that subtle magic
and the tears and snot sending
them blubbering and batshit.

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Four – Monsters

Monsters celebrate in most
usual ways. Simple parties,
with decorated cakes and
candles, or sometimes piñatas,
a margarita machine, and a taco
guy. Though, they celebrate the smallest
things: water running down the
gutter carrying old receipts and
dried up leaves, finding pennies
pressed in the year of their
birth, an ivy vine coiling around
the cold metal pole of the stop
sign. They’ll celebrate almost
anything that proves they’re
beautiful. Their menacing mouths
opened wide and indomitable,
whispering simple wonder
at themselves and the world.

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Three – Anubis

Your toes are canine
animals, but far more
cunning and decidedly
less capable of killing.
I suppose I may be
mistaken in this
analogy but you see
what I mean. They
seem somehow independent
of you and, yes,
to one another. Sometimes
they pull startlingly at the hair
of my legs, or simply brush
against my skin and feel
inhumanly cold. Toes, you
know, are the farthest
things from your face. Thank
goodness for that. Anyhow,
beep beep boop, little toe,
live forever!

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