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Robert Beveridge

Eight of Swords (reversed)

You know things have gotten bad when the local
prophets have taken off their sandwich boards,
stepped down from their soapboxes, and removed
themselves to your armpits. Hasn’t stopped them
from their attempts to spread the good word, though,
no sir. In the diner when you stop to avail yourself
of the ham and egg special, they proclaim the horrors
of parallel parking; when you pause on the path
in the middle of your jog, out they come to harangue
the passersby about the dangers of burglars who break
into homes, steal nothing, but leave Legos in your
hallways for you to tread on as you head to the bathroom
at three in the morning. You’ve consulted the authorities,
but of course, they say there’s nothing they can do.
None of this, you’ve found, is a huge deal until they
speechify in your ear. The laundry can wait one more day.
There’s just one more cookie, you can’t leave a whole box
with just one cookie in it. You have a spare room,
and the demons do need a place to stay, now don’t they?
You’ve always had compassion for the homeless.

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry on unceded Mingo land (Akron, OH). Recent/upcoming appearances in Raven Cage, Revolver, and Impspired, among others.

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