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BULLET.

                    I can tell it's coming on
   because I'm alone again, staring
                          at the ivory paint
   peeling from the ceiling like skin
                        from a cuticle. When
   my father died, I never spoke
              the word overdose.
 But,
   when I found out the real
                    cause, accidental, blood
   washing over his insides, I didn't
                               cry less hard
   or feel less like hiding or screaming
                     into a T-shirt. Someone
   tell me why a parent's death
               wipes away, for a moment, all
   the bad they'd done
                                in the world
   or to children. Like,
                        I hated him, and now
   that he's no longer
      alive to hate, where does the hate go?
   Maybe it turns
                      into a mouth. It turns
   into new teeth, fanglike. Or, it turns
             into love, like when he held me
   after I placed my small
                  hand on the not-yet-cooled
   stovetop. I remember less
                       my pain than his fear
   of how to take
                       care of his own flesh
   and blood. So I miss him? Not
                           the way I thought
   I would, with so much
              chaos pooling in my brain, but
   genuinely, and simply, the way a tear
                         seeps out an eyelid
   after a long yawn, or how its shell
              ticks the ground once a bullet
   sears the heart.
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Title Annotation:poetry
Author:Rogers, Stephanie
Publication:Boulevard
Article Type:Poem
Date:Sep 22, 2019
Words:245
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