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there is fire

i got caught in the undertow of spring a shithole backyard burning rubber a red wheelbarrow with unbolted hinges my grandfather smoking fat, cheap cigars from the fold out chair, him and my dad turned over an empty keg and tabled it with a two-by-four plank of wood to play cards i dug my whole hand into the gravel trying to find the roly-polies and centipedes the overturned tree thickly settled had me reaching new heights over which i could see their smoke perfuming and you know what they say, where there is smoke there is a home cooked meal there is something about the summer denim of being home, a reliability familiarity in their movements, who believed in the heart of the cards papa smoothed over the mug of his face beard freshly razored off in the bathroom sink i remember watching him stem bits of blood with tissue paper and i mimicked with safety scissors balding my dolls on the tiled floor i dug myself so deep in that backyard i sprung water washed my hands in it like the holy geyser while they puffed out until the last stub of ash and tobacco you know what they say where there is smoke there is water

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