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Michael Constantine McConnell

The Kiss of Death

Starts so easy. Like falling in love
at first, waking to confirm the other

still breathes, pressing lips, swallowing
each other, a tent full of angels in our

bellies and dreams of a thousand lives
lived, a thousand deaths died

in the arms of imaginations we have
yet to conceive. Then when we let go

of words, like helium balloons, they fly
away. We forget that God damned us

with art to heal ourselves. The moon
slices air in half, severs our dreams

and eyelids. Because only the devil can promise
time, climb upright onto its hooves and convince

us we are victims shackled to a void
where sleeping giants blink the sand

from their faces and yawn. We keep them
alive. We chase the womb with the pills

our tongues seduce. The baby bird beaks
on our arms opening for mommy to feed

them. The bottles and guns in our mouths.
Michael Constantine McConnell's literature has appeared in Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook (BELT Publishing), Father Grimm's Storybook (Wicked East Press), Down in the Dirt, Gravel Literary Magazine, Survision Magazine, and Oxford Magazine. He teaches at Texas State University. 
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