Dec 17

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Menace by J. R. Salling

The red gate hangs ajar.

It grows large in its openness,
the crack a canyon through
the inspector’s thick monocle,
under a sky less beautiful
with each futile alarm.

We cry against the silhouette
mistaken for a weathercock,
after it twisted off the roof,
our youngest in its beak,
abducted from his very keep.

Mother pleads with a passing wren.
Her stocking feet age like copper
as they make crop circles
in our grassy courtyard.

She claims butterflies are
ransom notes; the gate’s wooden ribs
form a chest, split at the sternum,
where her accusations spill out.

Under reason’s stiff umbrella
I watch the proceedings
and wave as others float away
on a slipstream of martyrdom.

In the rain of crucifixes
our birds never cease to whistle.

J. R. Salling resides in central Ohio, where he buys and sells rare and collectable books.

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  1. Electric Velocipede 25 » Electric Velocipede

    […] by Lida Broadhurst (poem) 12/17 → “North” by Kristy L. Truax-Nichols (short story) → “Menace” by J. R. Salling (poem) → “Blindfold Taste Test” with Aimee Bender (nonf) 12/20 → “Glass Boxes and Clockwork […]

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