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Three of a Kind
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Arielle Greenberg
Tony Trigilio
David Trinidad

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Out here, the sky pale as cabbage
in the garden of mean old
roses, the children are shut-ins, forcing their way
into blackjack. If they could sit still,
all would be, well, if not well, then
at least sober again, the way mule-drivers and long-oar's men
pat your belly when you ask for directions
to the nearest ghost town. It seems an eternity since
these terrible infants grabbed their last gold ring in
their cupcake palms and looked at us like
hypnotized bystanders at the scene of a
really good deed, as if they knew we owned them. Even so,
I'm still listening. Can't turn away
from goodness, or the blessings that tumble
out of their sugared-violet mouths, every moment an ace or jack that
gets stuck in the back of my throat. I notice,
now that I lack a full hand, that something wicked
unlocks the garden wall, and yesterday I found the key.
I want to be on the other side, of course, but
am being detained by a rather seductive
sense of reason one could call 'parenthood,' if only
the kind that watches from a sentry tower and smiles
like I wish you would smile when I
reach my hand out over this gorgeous display of thorns and
touch a colic eggplant, shiny slick and growing.