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Evil Ceiling Shape Blues

from Unsent Postcards by Harrison Lemke

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Finally went to bed,
and the coffee I'd had
too late in the evening
chased itself in circles through my chest,
chased itself in circles through my chest.
And the fear of death
came down to me,
beat against the ceiling,
spread its layered wings under the whining light,
under the whining light.

And I prayed and prayed
for the feeling to go away.

Out in the sticky air
I try my best to breathe,
but it's like breathing ink
and the sycamore leaves fly right into me,
like ghosts right into me.
And the cicadas grip
the peeling bark
like robot sentries
and their alarms are going off,
their alarms are going off.

Because I'm not welcome here —
at least, not anymore.

If I could fall asleep —
if I could call you —
if I could face the music,
or find a way through —
if I could read my fate
in the ceiling shapes —
if I could wake up whole and new —


from Unsent Postcards, released July 3, 2020


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Harrison Lemke Austin, Texas

tape-hiss symphonies to God

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