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Days that Stepped on a Porcupine
By James Grinwis

Symptoms of stress
not hard to come by.
Look forward, not back.
The sunset's clogged up there.
Myths hanging off it
like drunk kids.
A quill jammed tight.
Up to philosophers
to yank it.

Justin had just lost
his third job in four years
and was on his way
to pick up his girlfriend
at the airport. It had been
a month of separation.
They met in the baggage claim.
"You're the best, Allie,
he said, "without you,
I don't know where I'd be."
They were pulling out
of the parking lot. Allie
stared at the windshield
and began to cry. "I'm sorry,
Justin," she said, "I'm sorry
for everything."

Tricia's poems were getting
pummelled. Riddled
with holes, a wholeness
of holes. A fuzziness seized her.
What to do, what to do.
A horse in midwinter
looks like a monk.

Loki held up his paw.
The thorn was stuck
between the pads.
"I think he stepped
on a porcupine,"
my four year old said.
I pulled, the blood
gushed. It flooded
the road. I don't know how
I became what I hate.

A hydrobot is a robot
in water. What's down there,
down and out? They were
wrestling the big one down.
A squid of salty bones...
A big hello to the superstores...
Beginning to stretch
like a flame held up.

She was hung over
and wearing that tight, skimpy
thing. It slowly started
to kill me. I was in lust,
it hurt, a throbbing kind.
"I want to eat you for breakfast,"
I said to her, "with my eggs
and bacon." I appproached,
got slammed softly
with the blankest of looks.

Odd, you who have been
so warm, an Algernon

of dependability and peace,
suddenly gone
into an arctic fault
of some sort.

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