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Wade Redfearn May 11
Something rattles in the soul.
It must be paid attention -
  it is the soul, the only sure thing -
and rattled in return.

Slow begins the dance of tongues and hard news.
I learn a thing I never wished to learn.
Afterwards,
a dance of tongues in the ensuite
begins a sudden rapture of claiming.

Nails mine, skin mine
to make a pink impression on.
Bile in the back of the throat, mine.
Fear of death, mine. Oaths and oaths,
mine, too. An exchange of humility,
knee for a knee. The rigid wall at your back.
The wall at your back.
The night which enriches
bluer out of the blue air,
not the action of
the world moving at all.

The particles of water in a birdbath divide,
decide among themselves
to marry each to each, to reproduce.
They become an ocean.
They drown the birds.
My mouth fills with feathers,
teeth itch with the tiny mites
running between the shafts.

I am a bell, and you are a country.
I am a bell and sound from far away.

Hands touch the broken vase in her parts, the toes,
the eyelash, the sunken wreck, the crowd of dead,
the treasure.
They say
  all this
as if the map was drawn
and burned
and came again
in char from the tablecloth
to all our wonder.

A single miracle can last for weeks in the mouth. Sometimes centuries.

I will spend eighteen days in the void of grace.
What begins as a pain in my shoulders
will grow into a tree and bury me.
I will want promises, promises, promises.
(water, water, water)
I will never be satisfied.

Looking always for permanent loss it becomes easy to simply
misplace.
Your caution leads to strange decisions.
You put your keys in the fridge.

I would like to say I knew the words:
I cut the lock of hair, I drew the blood.
The hex was removed by faith and chaste reflection
but everywhere I look, there is a confusion
of hungry birds and beggars
and I forget the spell,
or what chaste reflection even is.

Anyways, something breaks. Not my doing.
Suddenly, I am just noticing sky again.
I am transcribed back into English.
My first decision is to wash my car,
and next,
to learn what faith meant to anyone.

Charmed, is it?
Something rattles in the soul.
It must be paid attention -
  it is the soul, the only sure thing -
and rattled in return.
It has nothing, really, to say.
It only rattles.
Just ask me.
r Oct 8
I remember that hardworking
woman from back home I used to
go skinny dipping with in a Creek
in Tennessee, pretty as you please
she didn’t give a **** after the day
shift ended on Friday, all she wanted
to do was get her **** dog out of
the pound and have a stiff drink
before showering and sliding right
into the sack, too tired to go dancing
and mad as **** at whoever had broken
her angel marble birdbath rounding
the curve in the holler too fast, oh, she
still had it, and she knew it, but her
birds were all gone, like the man who
had made her a clay whistle shaped
like a whip-poor-will that you could
blow through the stifle, as sad a song
as you’d ever want to hear, and no
letter in the mail, no blood passed
in the last two months, no money to
bail him out of jail for selling Oxys
to pay the bills even though he’d lost
a hand at the mill, and poor Will Jr. to
a war far from here, and needing those
pills to **** the ******* pain of a place
that will **** the ever living soul out
of the hole in a heart that you know
will never leave these hills and the land
that you love where your family’s planted
out back in a high pasture right over there.

— The End —