from BY US, TORN IN TWO: An Experiment of Self

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dripping off into the gutter        flooded moss falling

off the back porch how        is her brain

what showed up        on the scan        the swells of hayfields

folding on each other        backwashed drain ruins       the wood fence

rotted by the old stakes        sewage leaked up        under the soil        her soul reaching

under hot water        heater kicks on        are you thinking about

nothing yet can        you remember       the creek what color

were her eyes then       lonesome hum sequences       seeping through

the floorboards I am       a pendulum of creek tides       a vibrating loop of       a human

misplaced on        an overcast day        yawing as if        the barn swallows

could teach me       something of shadows        same as       the people say

the birds are        my albatross wing       in winter

before the moon       aching bleakness       bows

axis as selves       turn up       let eye rot        gunk billow out

a 12-gauge kick        rattling midnight        engines calling

the front yards       to out surface        foreign flames

that set my        ball cap burning       like a long-shot mustang

dream or hell-ridden       curses to become        fairytale paint        pastures

gravel thrashed        in killjoy       nature shit       on by cows

slamming front teeth to        blinded fiddle tunes       tapped on by swamp feet

trotting highway lines        of the left out        harkens

what is empty        but the skin  
     peeled back onion ripe        tossed fence-ward

or an association        of fluorescent patio lights       left dragging lichen       caged

living       given brick emotion       the headless not so        even those infected

by the up & spit out        dead singing        glory, glory        GOD is

reptilian &       I        caving in


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Evan Gray is the author of the chapbook Blindspot (The Rest (Garden-Door Press, 2017) and a graduate of UNCW's MFA program. His work has been featured in Word For/Word, Yalobusha Review, Tarpaulin Sky, inter|rupture, Dream Pop Press, and others. Gray currently teaches high school in Wilmington, NC.