tone of the angels

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mama’s dress sways, heavy
like the quiet lilacs nodding off,
sleepy-eyed in the summer evening
filled to bursting and shaken up
by the fireflies

you chase them
(scrambling, clumsy-kneed)
after the stars in
the wide attic of the evening:
of chessboards and tomato vines.
the dark becomes the monster’s breath
sweet and warm and damp
on your cheek

the roar trembles you.
fling out your hand, wildly
narrowly avoiding the polished teeth
snatch a spark, clench tightly
from fear of losing
all yours, your own

only, too bad they weren’t beautiful,
too bad they weren’t stars after all
you know they were just
legs sprawling in
black powder staining small hands
you know they were just
guilt, pinned and shivering
to your palm

mama’s dress sways, heavy
in the evening she holds you
close to swollen skin and fabric, sweaty
tired, your ear to tearing skin
listen
ohgod it sounded like angels
and they were
singing
something wonderful, for sure
hey, mama did you hear that?

and pray, pray, pray that when she
splits,
slipping
into the light, it won’t end up
toobadafterall just
another shivering
stain





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