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The Nickels

By Nathan Parker From Issue No. 3

for Dana Levin


There are so many now, planked over the hallways, owning and closing

their walls like months. The courtyard kite

is failing, and still many argue, ankleshaped on the torn blanket, the sudden

punts, raining around

the clapping patient, settling in ditches against paper fronts.

We’ve been missing this,

you’ve been wrapping their clean guts, you’ve teased none. How the banging

keeps grip

at the bed. Now they curl lispily, a ripe foam worshipping someone’s burned toes,

listing and paddling,

the patience of their wash laughing at so many porn-colored cubicles you can foist

it, that bad well,

onto lovely arms, expunging surgery-sweat,

scattering empty lawn chairs

to the freezing brace of the sea of bed. They are hatching from scratched tops,

planted on the riding mowers you hear once in a while in the dark,

pressing and pausing with new names for dust and rib—you can harm it,

the liquid whip,

the dance of waiting, as they rap and jip

and lose without any regret,

a blush swaddling the head, burying fists into every person in every place.

About Nathan Parker More From Issue No. 3