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Editors' Pick

childhood punctuated

in fifth grade I realized salvation wasn’t for me
I didn’t think I’d make the cut and what did it
really mean to be saved from something
I’m not sure what and Catholic school had taught me
all it really could plus my dad was about to be
ordained a deacon and I figured that was enough so
my unrelenting arguments prevailed and my dad
allowed me to go to public school with new friends
and different ideas even clothes that weren’t prescribed
I stuck to a few safe and pleasant ones
a girl and two boys who I wandered the neighborhood
with after school when we’d confess our secrets and
feel like we belonged and then one day when the leaves
were almost finished falling one of the boys didn’t show up
for school after we’d been together the day before
not the day after either then on the third day
they found him in the Mississippi a few blocks
from our houses without the jeans and
white t shirt he always wore and punctures all over
this sweet river carried him and his eleven years
washed his naked body of blood and grime
stab wounds caressed by the waters
the way he came in when
his mother now childless
held him in her waters




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