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In an emergency room, I sat
Beside a man with a pencil in his eye,
He told me a joke that I don’t remember.
We’re all junkyards.
This is how we lustrate the herd,
The way everything ends.
God’s plan pokes us in the eye,
Perhaps the joke’s on us.
Waiting to be rescued by a seahorse
It will occur to you, this is what God wants …
Salt-spitting swells white-capped
Like the old woman’s head. Drowning
People singing, everyone else considering shivering.
Televisions, underwear, and wedding rings
Fill the Fresh Kills Landfill; the future,
Picks at them like a vulture. Oh, holy night,
Forgive the clumsiness of my explanation,
My tongue on the butcher block.
I’m choking on my drool.
I’ve never been prouder of myself.

Photo by R O on Unsplash

Rick Bursky

Rick Bursky lives in Los Angeles. His most recent book, Let’s Become a Ghost Story, is out from BOA Editions. His previous book, I’m No Longer Troubled by The Extravagance, is also from BOA Editions. He teaches poetry for The Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension.

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