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I’m afraid to say anything or nothing, I’m white & unalterably broken.
The peanut seller tore sheets out of paperback books to make the cones.
The distant past returned—what part of it, he could not decide.
Neither blood nor belonging accounted for my presence in Ghana.
“We see you tryin’ to hide. Ain’t no use tryin’ to hide in God’s House.”
Paul King was shiftless and drunken; ugly tales were told of him.
For all the stories they’d concocted, the real one electrified them.
So that’s what I’d look like if every beauty parlor in the world shut down.
I grabbed him by the face and told him life only comes to a person once.
She is very rich. She will leave me everything when she dies, he says.
I needed a paycheck a lot more than I needed to be kissed.
The tree was shaggy and it bore scars of shrapnel from the war.
The stones here carry the island’s low cry inside them. A landlocked grief.
Crows rasp from branches, scatter debris across unfinished plots.
He longed only for Claire’s strange seriousness, her silent focus.
Tony’d had guns pulled on him more times than he had toes.
I stand within her walls with not a shred of terror, not a word of jeer.
Karen was, in that moment, nothing, emptiness. She was oblivion.
I recoil from the certitude that religion can give a person; it’s horrific.
Many times I’ve stood at the lip of this river and wanted to crawl in.
We are like a village here, separated from the rest of the world.
When Roy got to school he told his friend Jimmy Boyle about the dead body.
I only feel that here, only here, in this one place, a small rise.
When I dream of lovers, I rarely see faces. It’s better if we never touch.
He is not a man, but an empty shell, a creature who laughs to stop the shame.
I hadn’t always liked being around my mother while she was alive.
I believed in department stores the way I believed in Germany.
Keely finally stops crying when they step outside. The shock of cold.