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Erica Wright


When lined up by guilt, 

the first boy slipped 


his knife to another

who must have known, 


and this was the beginning 

of conspiracy. All of us waited


for the reeds of retribution: 

"Pick out your own switch."


Even con, every fallen branch,

was weighed until we came up


empty and aching

for redemption. 


We thirsted at the entryway

where we were met 


by the chlorine scent 

of modern baptism.





Erica Wright is the author of the forthcoming collection of poems Instructions for Killing the Jackal (Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc Books) and the chapbook Silt (Dancing Girl Press). She is the Poetry Editor at Guernica Magazine.

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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