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To Night (A Plea): This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Call me in the dark.
Throw your jump rope to my window
block out the rays of sun.
Teach me to hold a prayer with empty hands.
Dad always went to the same grocery store
everything off-brand and cheaper
jump ropes that always broke and broke and broke.

On the playground in fourth grade when all the chalk snapped
you came with glorified red and white checkered handles.
Color me with a Crayola Crayon in the wrong wrapper,
a night light burnt out.

Love me like they never could.
Forgetting the sun always sets
and the counting of footsteps ends in abruption when whistles are blown.
Mismatched socks hit the pavement hard
Ropes slipping from under me, out of my grasp,
like memories of my childhood home.

Come loving night,
in your double-dutch and gel-grip handles
In the way I can’t find stars to jump at night
and remind me of the way I always hit the ground
seconds before the rope snaps

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