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I found the ocean in an inch of black tar.
I tried to wash it, but found I couldn’t swim that far.
So I sank my sorrows in gin, and prayed that you’d come clean again, on your own.

When I released you into the sea, I thought you’d disappear in vastness, but you floated back to me, and I took you home again, disappointed in my lack of discipline.

Now my house is full of broken things I found. What I tried to fix pulled me clear into the ground.

I was a scholar, searching for life. Brimming with color, in a puddle of light.
From beneath the dredges, you sank your hooks.
A parasite with sorrow’s name, I didn’t look.

Now my mother saw his face and couldn’t tell, and like a mother, she took sorrow in as well. And the tide’s been ebbing steadily and strong, since my reflections shouted back “No! You were wrong.”

I was a sailor, engulfed in deep blue. You, an illusion; you sculpted the truth.
So I scraped the barnacles from off my shoe, and gave the ocean back my memories of you.


from For a New Deal, released July 11, 2012



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The Timid Roosevelts Trenton, New Jersey

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