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Of Darker Ceremonies

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After “E. 1999 Eternal” by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

Dear god of armed robberies and puff-puff-pass,
a chalk outline unpeels from the street, smashes
every windshield, and leaves florid temples of crack
on porches. Burnt-black pleats of   joint-pressed lips
prophesied your return. Please accept these nickel bags
as offerings. Brick bastions of piss-stench thresholds
and boarded windows require a weekly sacrifice.
Is there a Tarot card called “The Corner,” a shrike
shown lifting a corpse from the pike of a middle finger?
Children speak to their murdered brothers with a cereal box
and construction paper cut into a Ouija’s tongue that licks
yes when asked if   liquor could polish a skull in a way
pleasing to the dead, licks no when asked for a name.

Source: Poetry (November 2013)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

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Of Darker Ceremonies

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