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(roll a d20)




in your mouth the stubborn stir of birds, their battered wingbeat birthing dust. your clipped tongue in straightjacket embrace. his tall blue kiss in a dark room suckling wasps through cellophane straws / lose half a childhood.




sneeze not & the closet will cloak you. sneeze & the closet will spit you out like rotten teeth, like wet rat tails. your fleeting faith in cartoon logic: so long as you don't look down the floor won't fall out from under you / roll again.




in the land of broken shoe lace tin can hills the orphan collectors ascend to hunt, thirsty with cigarette eyes. haunt anything with residual color, suck pale breath to gray the secret world. soil your sheets & keep this fingernail tally on your stomach lining / lose the remaining half of a childhood.




careen your bunk bed into the clouds, sail safe & sound for now. sanctuary of a child's game & imagination's arrow / move forward.




your mother in the nuthouse, her wrists raw from plastic cutlery. her growing shriek a bag of bolts slow-emptying into a blender. the kingdom of her once sharp lullaby overgrown with thorned poppies & tangleweed. how she uses a brick to slaughter all those moths regressed from butterflies in the night war. but for one split second her frail mind solidifies, snaps back into focus, her love pierces thru the infected walls: "none of this was your fault...none of this will ever be your fault" / level up.




teenage runaway! better off on the streets than in the orphan factory (a) the subtle art of disappearing, fading forward, sliding out of the scene into fake Hollywood backdrops. (b) the not-so-subtle art of fucking fire with gasoline genitalia. (c) strict diet of addiction, alcohol or your mother's pills. (d) minor sublimation to taunt the wounds, petty crime skateboarding & graffiti / choose one coping mechanism.




your father's funeral. a scab in your mind making mud of memory. too soon to pick off so remain stuck in the muck of adolescence / lose a turn.




college. pyramids crumble & black clouds overhead. the sidewalks slash your bare feet. even though the dragon is dead his ghost still haunts the skies. any sunlight that touches you is scarring. sell your bed that still smells of his scales & sleep on the floor / move back.




gaze in the mirror & gasp at the stranger with your stolen eyes - sunken like the years - & every inch ravaged by the atomic bombs of youth. tired of suffering the fallout, consider forfeiting / game over or continue?




all your life you've built up this fortress. all your life this fortress has never been strong enough. someday when you least expect it you come to find your hate has gagged on all its pretty shiny hopes of escaping reality, & what is left is what was there all along, crushed quietly underneath the thick shell of ruckus & rot, tucked beneath the glinting knives of memory longing to be sterilized: forgiveness for the obsolete beast. you look down at your daughter underfoot flapping her arms with the quickening hope of hummingbird wings & know she will be clean, she will be pure / with the game already won, drop the dice & look down find a floor there to catch you.

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