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Devon Miller-Duggan

Devon Miller-Duggan has poems, likes breakfast best, thinks Maine smells better than Delaware, and is currently reading Kallie Falandays, Julianna Baggott, and Miriam Sagan. She teaches and arranges flowers. Her first book, Pinning the Bird to the Wall, appeared from Tres Chicas Books in November 2008. Her chapbook Neither Prayer, Nor Bird will be published by Finishing Line Press in 2013.



Happens we stumbled onto the right road—probably
by unfollowing the directions
and sewing the map folds together.
Happens the companions found us
where the dew on the grass said we’d be.
Hap we’ll be able to drink from the next river
without dying, turning into especially unsentient fish,
or growing extra tongues.

Most likely, we never should have tried to cross the bridge
without having ever once riddled the knowing.
Even the moss between the paving stones
knew more than we
might ever have. Ever seemed easy then.
We should have paid the coin that was asked, then
we wouldn’t have these burns on our palms.
We should have seen there was a doorway
right at the crest of the span. We might
ever have known whose palm fit the lock.
We should have riddled ever.

After, there will be harvesting.
After, the hunger will quiet.
After, the swans will settle and the sun take flight.
After, the dust will cease singing.
After, the dust will cease singeing.
After, the dust will cease sighing.
After, we open the book.

The Storm that Picked Up the Roller Coaster and Dropped It 100 Feet Away

into the surf.
Otherwise undamaged.
You could have dreamt it.
Then, it would make sense.

Entire blocks of houses,
owned by firefighters,
burned to the ground
in the drenching rain.
You could have dreamt it.
Then it would make sense.

Two small boys
swept from their mother’s arms
into the storm surge.
You could have dreamt it.
Then it would have been bearable.

Were Ink Made of Cats

The punctuation won’t learn.

Every word you write scratches its way into your paper, leaves
confetti to confuse the masses.

Every i’s dot skitters like a laser pointer in a toddler’s hand.
All the words chase it
then collapse in heaps and snooze.

The capitals whisker out, insisting they know the words to
scent, temperature, and risk.

Pages written on can never be fulfilled or satisfied
or stuffed enough with creamy words or meaty words,
or quivering-prey words.

Some words, the slimy ones, escape and fetch up underneath
bare human feet or on a pillow
where you’d meant to lay your sleeping head.

Nothing you meant to write stays where you meant it to or nuzzles the proper hand.

The furniture’s been clawed again.
The words are at your throat again
and won’t let go.
Something’s rabid here.

All the cats across the world assume the Buddha-pose,
wrap tales around their bodies,
let whiskers droop to inattention,
twitch their ears thrice,
and make the human world stop reading.

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