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The radio on your alarm switches on at 3am, 
unbeckoned.  The voice of a nighttime preacher 
speaking forgiveness onto dead waves.  It begins 
in your dreams, and only later do you realize 
his voice is not water spilling from a crack in a brick wall.  

You bring your fingers to your face, listening 
to the voice, which is not fire, telling you 
you are loved by an empty sky.  He says it with such conviction 
to this all-night radio audience, drunks, insomniacs, suicides 
and one-hundred-million precious variations of the three.  
Promises spilling through static 
the way sadness slowly slides from a broken heart.

You are aware of how it will sound in the morning, 
when you tell your co-workers how you became a Christian, 
how you must pray and be good, how those unwanted answers 
arrived feeling so solid against the black backdrop 
of your midnight bedroom.  

But that comes later.  Now, you are sitting up.  
You are pulling the blankets from your bed, 
the clothes from your body.  
You will wash away your sins 
in your apartment complex swimming pool closed for fall.

Your brain is chandelier glass with that nighttime preacher's words, 
still whispering in the background, made of light.


◄ Gladiolus

Fire Escape ►


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 12th Jun 2014 21:16

Girl, you are GOOD. Capturing with such strength, and destroying so effectively, barriers between the simple and the complex. I so admire your scope.

Surely even the title ALARM is loaded with meanings.

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Harry O'Neill

Thu 12th Jun 2014 00:28

Difficult to `suss` this.

I like, though, that introductory stanza and the

The way sadness slowly slides from a broken heart

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