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Spellbooks, Cockroaches, and Coke Bottles

Seventeen to twenty-seven.
Eighteen to twenty-nine.
Twenty to thirty.
However it gets counted.

The first time around? A lot of writing.
Folded pieces placed in palms. Offerings.
An intimate vernacular silly to those outside of it.

Plenty of pages penciled
between idle minutes and months
bound without binding to two

Still the words grew short
from tired hands that wandered
as they turned the chapter over.

True magic has never needed a spell

Upon the second time came honesty
forms raw and wild; unchecked
You paint over fading teenage love

Candle wax and dirty floors
with monsters between the cracks
Where home was a smell of old ovens
pencil dust and summer heat

One the comet, one in orbit
a magnificent collision to be sure
One keeps spinning, one keeps traveling

The impact nukes all but the roaches

Pursuit brought the third
a race endured; the steps in sync
With tracks crossed and out of sequence

A journey from East to West
passing cows and shotgun layouts
each drop of sweat on anxious brows lidding
with earnest eyes looking back

Reaching out in thirst
a nostalgic bottle grabbed
The dust of dead flowers
sugar sucked dry in the nickel vase

Thirty or thirty-one and on.
If this is a game
I’ve rounded third,
and should go for home

But I’m not interested in playing
anymore, junking things or people

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