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a poem by
Gary Sloboda
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I drove out to the old tract homes to see you.
Your eyes were manic, your discount shoes on fire,

a purse drooping your shoulder with the weight of coins
packed in there for when the markets crash or to swing

like a baseball bat at the melon heads of deviant men
leaping from the shadows of these residential streets

where children curse like ex-cons blitzed on cotton candy.
The stains on the ripe stalks of their voices, each word,

flit like a diseased bird over the tarred roofs.
To give up, everything you want must be resisted.

Stand still in the half-dusk as pick up trucks
pass by like huge erasers, contractors in emblem shirts

shouting like mad men at live wires in their hands.
My Helen, sweet paranoid, who am I to say you'll be left alone?

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