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Lincoln 27 This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Twenty-seven flowers she counted,
plucking them from their epicenter one by one.
Yellow Lantanas paratrooping to the ground
and each with their own set of petals;
she loves me.
There is no "not" here,
save for the knot in my throat when I try to talk about the November sky
and the leather cymbal straps we tied pennies into before a show.
But sometimes life is like that for the things that should be reserved for shoe laces
-instead I'm crunching on the aglets,
collecting dust in the fraying ends
Have you ever seen a luck penny?
Abe Lincoln in all his glory
reduced to a one cent copper nothing.
As dusty as this tired ground
but shining with more honesty than the two of us could ever bear to have.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we stopped hiding from ourselves,
started giving names to the flowers we lay down on unmarked graves
and putting words to the tunes we hum under our breath.
I know what it is like to march an entire performance with your shoe untied,
praying it doesn't come off,
but still managing to stay in step under the stadium lights.
But I have never seen a summer when heat waves didn't make the side walk squiggle.
And ever since the advent of wanting to find a set of bracelets
to weave my macramé heart into,
I never saw a night when I didn't wonder where and who and how she was.
Until now.
Until rubber duck colored flower petals raining down
on every empty tomb we never even opened,
until chasing birds on deserted school grounds,
secretly hoping that when they fly away,
they'll take us with them.
Because every fast-food McPigeon is still waiting to catch
a slate-colored wind
to take it far away from here.
Someday, we'll get far away from here.




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