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Here is a picture of the minister,
circling a near three hundred and sixty degrees
from where he melted ropes together around our wrists
in Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago.

This morning a friend from middle school
died of cancer.
       I should have woken up earlier.

He was flecked with leukemia, in a broken remission.
Two days later he died wrapped in blankets,
settled on the couch like two hands.

We are young. We are ants, put inside shadows
to cool off stomach after stomach.
We smack our lips at the Methodist punch.

I am Stevie Nicks on the piano,
shut up in the fellowship hall at sixteen.
I cry in the stall between songs
until seven, when the boy scouts come to replace us.

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