Of course, you didn’t know. How could you

It’s not as if you were raised like the others,

grown from the ground of the ruptured & raptured,

 

the sweetly forgiven, abandoned to the truth

of never settling down with the unsettled self,

with words they denied & flesh they condemned

 

for not believing in what the hands used to call the soul,

which turned out to be a misunderstanding;

you thought they said soil.

 

The gritty, gone, going away of everything

precious and good. A mudslide boy,

down the hill of all your hopes and dreams,

 

the daily unfolding of your disappearance,

a black & white print of your cheap silhouette,

hat an angry god fondled with guilt, while choking

 

on mirrors he said was the light. How painful the

swallowing must have been, & still be so wrong

about being right, like all religions based

 

on blood and the million ways to spill it.

Of course, you didn’t know.

How could you?

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DANIEL MOORE lives in Oak Harbor, Washington on Whidbey Island with his wife, the poet and visual artist, Laura Coe Moore. His work has appeared in The Spoon River Poetry Review, Western Humanities Review, Rattle, December, Phoebe, Yemassee Literary Journal, New South, Permafrost and more. His poems are forthcoming in Weber Review, The Cape Rock, Magnolia Review, Kestrel, The Phoenix, Red Earth Review, Writer’s Block Magazine, Ramblr, RipRap, The Timberline Review and River Heron Review. He is the author of two chapbooks, Confessions of a Pentecostal Buddhist (CreateSpace) and Boys (Duck Lake Books). Waxing the Dents, his first full-length collection, was a finalist for the Brick Road Poetry Prize and is from Brick Road Poetry Press. Visit him at Danieledwardmoore.com.

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