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Right now, I shouldn’t be

the cigarette dangling

from the mouth of the man

you will ride

like a Derby horse

to roses. His name:

Eric. Your bloodline:



persona, calculated

throat clutch, note control. How

can I mimic & sing

through scream?

For you, this is fantasy: the pony

you’ve always wanted, a story

to share in the squad room

when the day is done & men

of power fall into territorial pissing.

Yes, he is bigger. Are you

frightened? Yes,

he is a man. Does the mass

make him less?

Is the story spinning

your gears, do you dream

of besting the thin blue

w/the one that didn’t get away?

This is sport to you,

the choke, grip

& spin. No applause,

but you hold on,

count seconds

like cowboys do.

Cigarettes was it?

I think I know the way

this works, the hope

& crash.


bear witness, say

the words: A man w/a wife

& kids is dead

over loosies, & suddenly

the centuries—

17th & 21st—have burns

to share.

from dying in the scarecrow’s armsFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2018
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Mitchel L.H. Douglas Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.