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The grackles swarm the parking lot.
Their feathers dust the rocks and trees.
Their attack song is almost beautiful,
bouncing off the hot concrete
and back to you. Just for something
to do, you roam the local chapel,
collect prayer sheets and mumble
through the rosary. I believe in the
forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the body.

Tonight, you will spend too much
time at the Mexican restaurant
and when the waiter comes to ask
for the third time if you need anything,
you will shake your head and wonder
about his soft hands that you accidentally
touched while reaching for the check.
You will watch the workers turn off
the sports channel, unscrew the cable cord,
and lift the TV off the wall. You will
understand that this, too, is a precious act.
Tomorrow, you will learn to shoot
a .45, to aim something heavy and loud
just as a way to pass the time, to touch something.


Raina Lauren Fields currently attends the Master of Fine Arts program in poetry at Virginia Tech. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Mandala, Diverse Voices Quarterly, 580split, 5×5, Breadcrumb Scabs, PANK, Gargoyle, and others.

© 2011, Raina Lauren Fields

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