Poems by Michael Prihoda

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

even the violence
seems germane.

same old Wichita,
ain’t it?

bomb every
last life boat,

make the bird
on the bill

soar free above
that ancient tomb.

a camera’s just one eye
but damn

if we don’t know
how to whisk a crowd

after wrongful
frenzy.

 

the NRA pays less taxes than me

 you won’t
find

that shrapnel
wound

in their
tax ID #.

the business
end

of muzzle
is only prelude

of holy
creation.

“be still
and know

any upcoming
death

will be
tax exempt.”

 

new tires

 be heavy
with the paint.

enough brushstrokes
& i’ll become

a monster,
something to hunt

in the thunder
of borderless

volleys. we
set up a badminton

net in our backyard,
flanked by pines

& ragged tomato
starters. tapped

in the spikes,
painted court lines

in the debauched
Hansel-Gretel

tread of
imprecision.

stared at our
rackets, the birdie,

heard mother
calling dinner,

left the game
for weeks

as storm
replaced sun,

the net drooping,
showing

what lay beyond:
an overgrowth

soon-to-be-ensconced
by fresh parking,

some new tires
to slash.

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Michael Prihoda lives in central Indiana. He is the founding editor of After the Pause, an experimental literary magazine and small press. He is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently Out of the Sky (Hester Glock, 2019).

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