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January 3

by
 The shrink says, "Everything depends
on how many stuffed animals you had
as a boy," and my mother tells me my
father was left-handed and so is my son
and they're both named Joe whose favorite 
stuffed animal was a bear called Sweetheart
while I, the sole constant in this dream,
am carrying a little girl who has a gun
in her hand as I climb a brick wall
on the other side is unknown territory 
but it has to be better than this chase
down hilly streets where the angel disguised
as a man with red hair drives the wrong way
down a one-way street so he arrives late
at the library where his son is held hostage
he breaks in lifts the boy in his arms and tells
the one kind man he had met that he and
his brother would be saved but the others 
who had mocked him would surely die

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