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Three Poems photo

the only person who texts me is my mom

mostly about how her back hurts
i send her a
proverb that says: you are as old as your spine
she replies: then i must be dead
my mom is always over-dramatic about pain
she says: it feels like my vital organs have squeezed my spine to death
then she sends me a skull and crossbones emoji
there are blunt ashes on my khakis and i just want to be left alone
i say: it feels like these texts are isolating me in an electromagnetic field of sadness
my mom does not answer for over an hour
i am pouring a glass of orange juice when she replies: you will miss me when i am gone

my mom keeps sending me job postings from craigslist

i do not know what it means to be a spiritual sidekick
and by the description it seems like a lot of work
i can’t believe that there is someone who is willing to pay for prayer
it sounds like a rip-off but i bookmark the page anyway
another scam is the man offering a thousand dollars for a household exorcism
the only qualification he lists is: be able to pronounce the word banana
i email the man with the subject line:
i will pray for you (i will be your spiritual sidekick)

my face is the desktop background on my mom’s laptop

my cheeks are the color of an unripe potato
except for the strawberry blotch where i cut myself shaving
in the flash makes me look like a stoned vampire
my hair is like a frizzy self-adhesive wig from the dollar store
i remember smoking weed for the first time
a few minutes before taking the picture
but i wish that i could remember where
we smoked the weed



image: Aaron Burch