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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.

Solaris

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The night my mother dies we'd watched Solaris at the Quad Cinemas Afterward Hauser and I videotape each other, ask probing questions like where do you go when you die, and what is God, and who are you now? …

One More Thing

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The second thing Annie Riser did after receiving her diagnosis was to find a realtor in the Yellow Pages and put her house up for sale.

Executive sweet

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So

A Night of Not Knowing

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I lie here sleepless and wait for the moment when I will touch...

Some Kind of Compass

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if we stare into the dark long enough, we see ourselves at some end or beginning –

Gymnopédie Set

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The streets have terrible breath, it’s said, and everyone hides but the young, who have slick, naked shoulders and fragrant tobacco shreds in the linings of their empty pockets.

The Hotel Where Esenin Hanged Himself

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I walk by the hotel where Esenin hanged himself.

The Weight of Water

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Water and its damages followed Bianca. Every time she looked up. Everywhere she looked up. Up up up up. Water stains, in darkening whorls, curling across the drywall or fiberglass panels, filling them with rot and mold.