Published online with Dewdrop, 2020

The waxy paper spouts
     of the sacred thorn-apples in the glen
          had fuzz-covered stalks the color of a frog’s underbelly
               without any thorns at all.
There were no apples, either
     to better that foul-smelling bush
          that made no appearance in the tanglings of the vestibule garden
               of the lonely Saint Francis.
At eleven, it seemed all Michigan green
     had lied to me in this bold-faced way-
          The black-eyed susans, ubiquitous squatters at the asphalt’s edge,
               were eye-less waifs of gold.
Even the animals were fabulists.
     I learned this with my cask of skin
            sprawled face down on a turbid bed of stinking channel-waste
               staring at the sunfish.

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