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ExpectingExpectingthree houses down,the neighbor boy's softspot has fused togethertoo soon. now his brain has noroom to grow.I cannot allow my mind to dwellthe daughter of a guy I work withhas Down syndrome,an immortaltoddler. her nose runs; she watchescartoons. they have a specialguardon the front doorknob.I cannot allow my mind to dwellmy half-brother's adopted daughterwas bornwith spina bifida. she wears specialbraces on her anklesto help her walk. she suffersoperation afteroperation, butthe doctors are certain: one day the cordwill simplystretchtootaut.I cannot allow my mindour first was bornperfectexceptfor the second and thirdtoeson his left foot. they arejoined to the first knuckle.I cannot allowmy wife is 36. they stuck a specialred doton her chart. we consulted with a geneticcounseloras our boy orchestrated mock battleswith a pair of wind-up Star Warstoys, giftsfrom McDonald's.she told us that the
The CandleThe Candleall religions seem to know this:we areeternalstillI sometimes fantasize aboutdeathusually as a way to get back at those Ilovefor not loving methe way I want them tothis time is no exceptionclimbing onto my bicyclein loose jean shortsand an old T-shirtmy wifestillexplaining to me how unhappy she isI ask heris this how you want to spend yourtime with me?then ride offup that treacherous hill with noshoulderup to Highway 9we live on Animal Farmtheir howls phaseshift as they gun pastfour wheels good! two wheels bad!it must take an impressive act of willfor them not to twitchjust a littleand grind me beneath their machinesI heard a plant has evolved along somehighwaysthat can breathe carbon monoxidealong the shoulder ahead of meI spyfresh flowersa candle burning in a glass jara homemade crossand silver helium balloonsI picture a young womanin my mindI don't know whydid it happen recently? is this theannive
Hot NowHot NowI wrote pieces of this while I slept. in the dreamit was simpleand clean. I jotted linesdown on a branded napkin outsideof a Krispy Kreme on a sunny, windy afternoonwhile a woman from work looked onand commented on the weather with eastcoast certainty.Krispy Kreme doesn't just sell doughnuts,Koffee, and Kollectibles;it sells timeaway from workfrom lifea miniature vacation andwhenever the neon lipstick circle glows out frontan opportunity to seethe doughnut machinein action.the contraption is ingenious, designed so that everyone should make it through. but theydon't. some fail to dismount gracefully from the risingplatformthe flipping mechanism mangles othersmany fail to flip at allsome flounder mounting the conveyersome drown in glazeand some just don't lookperfect. a Hispanic attendant plucksmost of the rejectswith a pair of tongs as they pass. the Hispanic boxerhandles the rest.the whole thing fascinatesmy five-year-old son.my