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The Atlantis Tapes

by george sandifer-smith

Ten years after – we were lions back then, in the scream

of our parents’ sliding doors. The festival unspools, Nazareth

mapped as an impossible saint checks their watch: half

dead. Carmen left she always does trailing tape behind, a way

back home. Where translations burn in the white

heat of the calendar. Where the roads sink like knots,

a month becomes a shipwreck, a shipwreck feels

the agony of masts becoming limbs in an eco-system, castles

wobble in the brine. Philadelphia is where the wave breaks;

furniture falls on Las Vegas in the buzzsaw air of the Mint Four

Hundred in your story, with key. My father saw all of this

on broadcast, the late night waves washing a spectral piano

chock full of immediate karma and endings. Policemen scowl

across the rooftop. It’s nice to have something for free for once

in this country. It’s been a hard year, and the wigs are on sale

in Woolies. A choir calls: don’t let us down.

We blew it.


Image by Bree Anne
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