Published in The Slanted House, 2018


Wavering in bleached cotton,

thin-skinned muscle-twitches

ring out their juices

through faded eye-sockets

in the sticky not-so-supple air

drenched with night-colors.


The same-sex sinners


pregnant minds lay their anchors elsewhere

and so,

we reel them in with calloused hands

into tumultuous shores of

shallow depth.

Their bunkers we line with crucified forms,

their thoughts we line with formless crucifixions

for we are givers.


Rumbling engines, open-mouth


a Ford f-150 and a no-name Chevy

for the children whose names

their parents held hostage

to suffer a foreign soil



a blazing summer to scald the skin

with sentimental falsehoods.


The first week watched their wandering

minds chained into places

made for the well-made



I fear they might gently brush against me

on a walk to a smoldering fire pit

we take


we take.

Lest I catch that unnatural ill

nature gave them


we unwrap like greedy children,

crinkled aluminum paper caught in between stubby, stubborn, fatty fingers

we wash like less than Pontius Pilot.


Singing in an unconnected circle,

cramped bodies squeeze out little


forced down throats.

Yowling non-notes writhe in air-

camp songs and hymns cruelly crushed

beneath ivory stamps to seal a soul with

tortured glottal stops

and scenes of bodies pasted with the crumpled flesh-wine of forced copulation.


Their quiet-enough-to-hear-distinctly-learned-helplessness

of unbreeded fevers,

the primary colors we stamp on

their weak torsos, the

heavy crosses and self-served flagulations of

social smiles.

To their cradles we return them

though we have suffered for

their suffering,

they have suffered us


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