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Form Letter for Requesting Trigger Warnings


Dear [Current American President],

Considering that more and more American universities are respecting students’ requests to be warned before encountering a disturbing passage in course readings (“disturbing passage” being defined as anything eliciting a strong emotional response), on behalf of my village I hereby request we be warned before drone strikes so that those of us cooking or farming or working in hospitals or telling our children stories in the hopes that they’ll finally fall asleep will have time to seek shelter.

The more warning, the better.


[Citizen of Whatever Country America Is Currently Bombing]
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The Gift


If I had a daughter I would tell her

If I had a son I would say


Some days my parents’ neighbors’ grandchildren
walk down the road to give the horse a carrot

There is fear in the way they pull their hands away
as into his long mouth the carrot disappears

Then delight in the way they laugh say thank you
walk back up the road looking at their hands


If I had a son I would tell him

If I had a daughter I would say

Every evening return
empty handed
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The Darkness Raises Its Hand


They say the light shines
And the darkness doesn’t understand

Like a dimwitted kid in a classroom
The darkness raises its hand

Says I might not be as bright
As all these who surround me

But watch you don’t ignore me
There’re plenty who adore me
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Mission Creek


What once ran red
when the butcheries bled
out like a steer slaughtered
and spinning on chains
now runs whatever color
the sky hands down to the water
like a child at a shelter
the creek will wear whatever
it is given without discernment
or complaint as it always has
the only difference being that
back then all the clothes were red
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