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Rachel McKibbens

A child came up to me in the park
and asked for a cigarette.
Her eyes were startled cats,
her voice, a chandelier.
I don’t smoke, I said.
She took a seat beside me
on the bench, resting her head
against my shoulder.
Her hair smelled like an old
dictionary cracked open
after rain. I want tenderness,
she said, as a row
of pigeons crashed
against the trees
like good china.

— Rachel McKibbens, “Let’s Crawl Into That Photograph & Stay There for a While,” Nailed: Poetry Suite by Rachel McKibbens.Editor Carrie Seitzinger, Poetry, March 4th, 2013,

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