WORD/ FOR WORD: Volume One

James Shea


Bulk of the Pampas

40 acres
across the
neck of
the forests
where they were
Took myself
to the center.
To the center
I took. From
out of the pampas
clomped the
blue whale.




You are not free to enjoy the nostalgia.
Don't look at me. The oncoming traffic
we listen: a man crawls out of an argument.
I keep saying, I saw him, I saw him.
I am not laughing with every part of myself.
You continue drinking being smart enough.
I built this house from scratch.     I am not
Going to repeat myself.     You tell me.
We are born a thousand times without hands.
I never answered the question.     I am going
to eat this sandwich.     I need an excuse.
You burn the sheets and knife the bed.
What did I leave with everyone I met tonight?
I sleep with my fingers under the pillow.

[contributors' notes]
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