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Mike Bagwell

A Collision of Soul in Mid-Air

Just for shits, the gods made a fish with human hands
and a duck with a book in front of it.
The year of the monkey was in on the joke
from the beginning. Always up for a laugh,
that one. For example, she gave Christ
an exploding cigar and almost brought about
the second coming, then she carved
transcripts into DNA and the way certain birds
flock in spirals. I couldn’t find the remote
so I went around pretending to be myself
and planted words like ‘azure’ in two poems
in a row. If you look close enough, you can always
see a bit of smoke under my mask. I got a little lost
this time, but it’s still the same dream,
the fish, the hands, the fires and their books.
A monkey playing a lyre develops
a sexual attraction to anything with the color gold.
Suitable gifts:
books, pens, mobile phone, a makeover,
joke book, crossword puzzles.
Maybe we play our roles
but are composed of the same universal soul:
a cigar explodes in your mouth
and instead of figuring out the joke,
you become everyone else.
​​Mike Bagwell is a writer and software engineer based in Philly. He received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence and his work appears or is forthcoming in Heavy Feather Review, trampset, Halfway Down the Stairs, HAD, BULL, Bodega, Whiskey Island, and others. Some editors have kindly nominated him for a Pushcart. He is the author of the chapbook A Collision of Soul in Midair (forthcoming from Bottlecap Press). He was the founding editor and designer of El Aleph Press and his work can be found at​​
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