Imagine your father at seven, at recess, down on one knee

outside the stick scrawled circumference of a marble ring.

In his drawstring bag: clambroths, corkscrews, steelies, crystals.

A cat’s eye rests on his cocked thumb, crocked in the pocket

of a curved index finger catapult. He prepares to shoot,

to run the ring, to gather lootlike handfuls.


Imagine your mother a gum machine. Round

and finite, an array of flavors in strata, waiting for

puberty’s pennies, the shiny orbs, one by one,

patiently waiting their turn

to spin clanging down the chute

battering the hinged door that dispenses.


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