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Poetry -- 3rd Place 

’had got, got flow, had you, ha-ha’

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The pajama-man lives next door. His mother was terrified at his birth for she felt nothing


maternal; she wanted fried eggs.


His City is hemmed in by clouds and mountains, sea and sky. It sits on seven hills; three


gateways rise from olive and vine. Today the city is sinking. He asks for help. He asked his mother the same question. This is the everyday, honey and almonds, blood found only in Spring, AIDS.


He runs at me with scissors. He clips the flowers, tells me to spread them under the sun. He will remember his mother singing, “Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam.” He will be grateful for the cozy feelings, the stops along the way.


I force the paramedic into the conversation, suspended, illuminated, the body rich in juices, wormy, foaming from the pulpit, excess flesh, false limbs, frozen bony. “Do you know where lemons come from?” “No.” Jam the body, sliding stiff.


The church choir sings, “Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam;” the words ripen to purple-black. His ashes now form the earth, the four rivers.


He is an experiment, an asteroid too beautiful to stay inside, too strong and clever. I see it, it spins, hits hard against the eyes; hits hard against the yellow shape of a hand; parts you send back. He is a decent man, really he is.

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Chris Donaldson

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