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Kelly R. Samuels

The Alpha Privative

Days and months are nonsense,

nonsensical. Only the year surfaces

and a season, recalled

from bare arms, canvas shoes.

Here are three words: church






Name them, again,

fifteen minutes from now.

After drawing the cube. After reciting

the days of the week backwards, and, too,

the word


What flowed at the hill’s base, muddy,

its banks crumbling.

Parts of this organ are going dark. Pulling away

from the skull, like a nut inside a shell – what we shook,

listening for the soft rattle.


You shake your head, say: I am losing


my mind.


All the dates are nothing now. And where

the poppy is planted – a map is needed.     Here.

          This mark

on this page.


Kelly R. Samuels is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals including The Carolina Quarterly, Sweet Tree Review, Salt Hill, Permafrost, and RHINO. She lives in the upper Midwest and has two chapbooks being released in early 2019.

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