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The phone alarm is church bells
far off. i’ve been away thinking
of hymns. their struggle between
innocence and sin. i need more
grace these days god is alive
in the south under my belt
buckle the withered remains of family
Never went to church regular
but a lot of us sure did fuck
we understood the word
and the seed, water and wine 

The bells quit on your finger
you turn your bare back and I
put this poem down. come
we curl up in baby prayers
each wishing we were wishing
the other well but not really
thinking of each other at all
play temple of a bed, sleep
rhythm wind howling the caves

Just another seven minutes
in soft rainy memory. a window
now and some other now as well
when we felt safe, or just so
so immediate, all the windows
stain from our lives, all the rain/drops/water
this rest is good, and i remember
you and i raced against the coming storm
with bells in the distance calling home
that day spirited by blankets, where
were you then— 





Justin Burnell is Appalachian, White Trash, Queer-spawn. He is writing a book about growing up with his trans mom. His work has appeared in GuernicaArkana Mag, Queen Mob’s Tea House, and Hotel. He tweets @jmburnell