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The girls who cut themselves slowly pull up their sleeves. Their blood is your mother’s Elvis obsession. Pills become ritual. Taken like sweet tarts when he was a child. Hazy sunken eyes. At work, he stared at the living who longed to be dying, wanting to tear them up, shred them, like typed words on a paper that refused to work as a poem. He forgot about how his hand slipped into yours years ago and nearly vanished. The burial plots grew grass. He had seen too much blood for one man. He kept it together. The ponds change from fishing lagoons to ice skating rinks. Behind the landscape, he turns to shadow. He follows the earth around the sun. He visited friends and saw them in new light. He drove a lot of long distances to get back to somewhere he left from, to leave from somewhere he never knew he had arrived at.

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