Lives in a rundown neighborhood
Next to my seventeenth birthday

Always whispering
“Let me tell you what your father said
When the carpenter finished his coffin”

Takes naps
Prefers the silence of spiders

Lives on moon light
That touched objects the day my father died   

Dissolves many sentences
Prays novenas to the goddess Amnesia

Cut Hope’s throat

And tossed that corpse
In an igloo deep inside my brain








With a brown chirp
In a black shadow

The snow
Keeps reciting
My name

As the blue sky prepares
A new kind of alias
Waiting for night’s
Sleet telegram

I grew up in
This ice cube
Called Nebraska
Where my brain froze
And unfroze daily

I’m getting ready
For my new passport
The photo
Of my skeleton
Is stunning
But I need a wig and a bottle of tequila








John McKernan – who grew up in Omaha Nebraska – is now a retired comma herder after teaching 41 years at Marshall University. He lives – mostly – in West Virginia where he edits ABZ Press. His most recent book is a selected poems, Resurrection of the Dust. He has published poems in The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Journal, Antioch Review, Guernica, Field and many other magazines.

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