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Mike Wilson

American Avenue

I haunt houses on the right side 

of an uphill street to home


                                                Inside a house

at the bottom, bathtubs are filled by a

therapist who shuffles tarot and charges

me for my own labor

                                      The driveway with

a basketball goal, I pick up the ball and

shoot, too young to trespass boundaries

I think are no more than handy labels for 


               A lane leads to a secret cul-de-sac 

where Paul died. I visit his abandoned 

house, front door always open, never

step in but a few feet, hearing something

I can’t see

                   an old black man rushes out like

lava, pinwheel stars on either side, his 


                pins me on the ground, his 

angry words meant to scare, he 

wants to be left alone.

                                         Near the

head of the hill a bronze Confederate 

general on a horse corrodes to light

green, folds into itself like a stomach 

ache, a writhing ball of snakes 

slippery, shrinking small enough 

to slip into a sack and haul away.

Mike Wilson’s work has appeared in magazines including Cagibi Literary Journal, Stoneboat, The Aurorean, and The Ocotillo Review, and in his book, Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic, (Rabbit House Press, 2020), political poetry for a post-truth world. Mike resides in Central Kentucky and can be found at

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