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Ami, I just couldn't sleep
awoken, briskly, from a dream
I was face down in a stream
not breathing, just afloat
no matter what the current’s speed
simply, I refused to leave
how the townsfolk made a scene
oh, the letters they wrote

Ami, I know I’m selfish at best
cruel at my worst, when under duress
I hope you still believe
there is a place for people like me

enough about me, how about you?
remember back when we were two
children with a bird’s eye view
of the world, from the sandbox
You take my rook, I’ll take your king
spin and fall down dizzily
stare at clouds and make up the shape
of things in the sunlight

Ami I know, it’s harder to tell
the velocity of your wish in a well
But I’ll throw every penny
if you’d shake the sense into people like

me, and I know
I’m often sold at the medicine show
but I still hate
the morning after taste of a bitter pill-ow

planets shift and stars align
you force yourself: the daily grind
for every wrinkle left in time
all our paperback hopes
until the day we meet again
my dear and cherished childhood friend
I leave you where the sidewalk ends
at the edge of the globe

Ami, I know there’s nothing pristine
razors in apples on each Halloween
but I hope it isn’t ennui
haunting like ghosts of people like me


from Dead Receiver, released July 30, 2013


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LilySchaffer Washington, D.C.

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