Maddie Collins, for and from A. Van Jordan

Please be a boy Please be a boy Please be a boy

Answered prayers and things that mothers never thought to

petition until the worst lay rotting under their children’s

sleeping heads. Maddie, first, second, third

base, home run home after school to clean the corners for

nothing that can hurt. Febreze silent, watching from

windowsills like elven sentinels until even they

falter. Carpet fibers soaked foul under a waterbed,

gruesome frosting.

Smell what lack of love does to the flesh.

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