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ANY PLAYGROUND CAN BE A CRASH SITE

J. Campbell

     It’s a hard world for a pacifist and that’s no lie: arms so readily popped out of socket, spines settling askew with the least bulldogging of force, blood settling into the starting blocks of one’s ears. Don’t get me started about the trachea, my sons. Were complaints to be made, I would have several.

     I gear up. I’ve never called in sick and I cry—too much, really—for the mothers more than the rest. They crumple beneath your fist, soft and fulfilled like an emptied paper cup.

     I don’t drink coffee. I play the violin.
     I don’t eat meat. I don’t judge.

     I don’t call home. I don’t feel immortal.

     Grease peels across my fingertips and I remember my dance lessons, how young I was and how proud it made my mother. No one slams a dancer into asphalt. No one chokes a ballerina to death for jaywalking. No one begs to see every foxtrotter living within us. It’s a joke and they, my beautiful sons, refuse to laugh.

Author Bio: J. Campbell was born in Jasper, Alabama, where all carbonated soft drinks are Cokes. His favorite Coke is Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale. His writing can be found elsewhere, in print and online.

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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

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