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Feb 2015
The ghost boys howled like loons. The ghost boys
had bodies that twisted away without warning, bodies
that forgot to root themselves down anywhere,
unless they were rooting their hands down onto skin
without warning. When I was younger I scraped my hand
onto my pronounced clavicle. My initial reaction was to bleed.

You loved the girls that lined the public bathrooms. They had
brown hair that reached down to their jawlines and they
filled the gaps and the gums of their teeth with orange juice,
to raise their blood sugar, after they vomited, after the cuts
appeared on their faces (doctors’ orders). Their cuts
curved outwards like fields of orchids. Back then, standing with them,
my stomach was sharp as a state I’d never been to.

I’d never been to Georgia, with its strong heat.

Your face in a dramatic bed is not without heat. I am not cold. I was born
in the state far north of here, the state with the birds (flycatchers, kingbirds,
vireos) and the gas station. The gas station never caught on fire, although
I had a dream of you in my bed: in it you were on fire,

the fire mixed with heartburn. Quickly you turned into my grandfather.
My grandfather liked to sit in his brown wool armchair
and smoke pipes and eat black currant pie and listen to Merle Haggard
on the record player, in the wooden house, next to the lake that in late
December rippled with waves. Grandfather died in December.

I still don’t know how to have dreams in black and white.
I don’t know how to lucid dream, either.

Your body, no matter what, mixes with shadow.
loisa fenichell
Written by
loisa fenichell  ny
   Pea and Jesse Madison
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