Evenings When a Shotgun Shared My Pillow

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In Lafayette,
your body was the weight
and shape of a rifle
indented in the blankets’
cotton like an accumulation
of sweat.

The nights were so humid there
you measured time by your body fluids,
the calendar a collection of freckled mile markers
between your sunburnt back and the coast.

I remember
the collage of dead and dying flesh
that was the first thing I saw every morning
from the safety of our first
and only bedroom window,
the perfect angles of a scrawny boy’s backbone
bent to work for whom your pride
was the only supervisor

how my understanding of gender roles
became less important
than the knots under your shoulders

that rough and tumble squint
into the dark hours where lurked spiny things
I had no eyes for

those whiskey straight nights
that we spent mostly waiting
for whatever it was
that was coming for us.

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