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It has taken two years to name the grain

of weight unloading within a mile of our home-

steadfast pistol unmistaken for the fourth of July.

A night howl ricochet- our necks

no longer turn.

 

Two nights ago it was Camden-

North Thomas was in broad daylight. I don’t want to shape

that sound into range. Blame it on the humming appliance-

pretend my fence is higher, more secure-

that the dog will keep us safe.

 

We are firing hope with yard signs.

We are trimming lawns out of scope-

in horror.

 

Somewhere, a mother holds her tongued prayers

instead of child. How is her son not mine, too?

 

I am clutching what is left of the coffee- grinding

peace with bent knees. Which is to say, there will

be another round of headlines before the sky goes dark-

more sons whose shape we will mourn from

the barrels of our humming coils.

 

It doesn’t take an ear to glass to hear

what is on the other side of the door- these

fire pits on alphabet streets. The next

one I reckon, is mine.

Victoria Ruiz is a Minneapolis writer whose work can be found at Indolent Books, The Edge and in the June issue of Anti-Heroin Chic. She is a lover of all things music and enjoys dancing in the kitchen while her dog, Mojo, watches in disdain with speakers on full-tilt.

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