His prayer for the girl who lost
his baby. Years later his daughter
peels oranges on the couch, speaks
of opening the east. She smiles.

His apology to the girl
who took him home from work one night,
asked him to be rough. He said
gentleness warred inside him.

His hands on the wheel of a car,
chariot we rattled across youth.
He asked how quickly I could smoke
a cigarette. I snubbed it out.

His heart folds up in a vale of blood.
I don’t recall what brought us war.
He lifts a hand. From the trees
every tiny fear looses its stone.

Marvin Shackelford

Marvin Shackelford

Marvin Shackelford is author of the collections Endless Building (poems, Urban Farmhouse) and Tall Tales from the Ladies' Auxiliary (stories, forthcoming from Alternating Current). His work has, or soon will have, appeared in Kenyon Review, Recommended Reading, Southern Humanities Review, Hobart, and elsewhere. He resides in Southern Middle Tennessee and occasionally drives by landmarks from DBT songs.
Marvin Shackelford

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