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When the Translator Disappears, the Translation Withers and Dies

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She pined for the return of the trans­la­tor who / became mes­sianic in her eyes.

Roadside Attraction

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There is a certain stage of sobriety among men who drink every night. In that stage, they are their best selves: they write novels, fix cars, care for their young. Then they change.

The Daughters

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Their mother never teaches them to wipe front to back or to brush their teeth before bed.

The Truth Will Out

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sorry I didn't inform you (missing cap) about my trip to Spain, (comma splice)

Bone Dust Disco

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He stands at the 53 bus stop, boy shadow dust-cloaked and fading, jangling her keys in his pocket, echoes of a journey cut short.

Lettie in the Ozarks

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Lettie picks wild grapes from the vines that twist between thorny bushes. If she's really hungry she eats dirt and all the things that live in it.

Dr. Doom

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I passed out one night while I was standing at the sink brushing my teeth.

After this last death,

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After this last death, I lose at musical chairs. Rough strangers shove me toward the carved door. Feeling fierce, I yell, “Don't push me!” House racked with noise, smells, rushing, I turn the…

Raisins

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Sylvia used his computer to write two-page stories about women who killed themselves with blue pills because the shirts came back from the laundry unpressed and their husbands stayed out late with secretaries. Every story ended with the image it began.

Lost Love Poem

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Was that the door slamming?

Charlemagne

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We descended directly from Charlemagne

Waiting for Big Bird

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Jonathan jumps up from his seat, knocking over his mug of coffee, when Mona tells him she thinks she is in labor.

Godot is a Heartbreaking Figment

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Godot is on the way.

Perfect

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"My mother loses patience when I get sad," I said. "She tells me about the dog."

I Had Time to Kill

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I had time to kill. I got on the merry-go-round, letting it go slow, thinking of starting blocks, how I might push off them.

Night at the Reservoir on Airline Drive

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Del and I watched my brother toe his way to the edge of the cottonwood branch that arched over the reservoir.

Dancers: Summer '69

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The locals cut stone in quarries, built elevators at the Cummins plant in Columbus, or brewed shine back in the hills between Bean Blossom and Gnaw Bone.

Pieta

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Come home, my love, and live.

The Fault In Our Three Stars

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So there are these teenagers and they're all dying of cancer, or at least were dying of cancer, or might be dying of cancer, and then a couple of them fall in love and lose their virginity to each other, and these teens, they're all smart and charming and only a little…

Help Me Own You

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I wrote a fucking poem about you And you’ll like it

Mocking Bird

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There were always mocking birds around my house.

Kin of His

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I dreamed that coffee grounds had spilled on my Buffet. There was another clarinet, a silver one, that belonged to a man not in the room, that was clean of debris.

After Bukowski

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The night she left she claimed she fucked Bukowski.

Red Fox Rampant

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Shit, Marcie, I thought you were taking something. I mean you did say you were on the pill. I don’t want no screaming brat. Get rid of it.

Assholes

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Assholes are assholes who do asshole things.

Milkshake And Fries

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Dexter is a demon. He called me an over-accessorized hot spot yesterday evening and FYI: he didn’t even kiss me. I slammed the door and left my own apartment. I slept in my car.

Three Micros

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He'll tell you if you listen long enough the words run together like the teeth of a zipper.

The OD & Hepatitis RR or Bust

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We got this new group man--it's dynamite! I'm up front--no more bass--just front man--and this cat Jack on lead and Stokes the drummer and this outasight piano--he used to be with the Dead--

Red Can't Even Grab a Starbucks

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I see his look, his impatient look.

Dinner at the Whorehouse with Geraldo Rivera

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wear that short skirt and those high-heeled boots