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by Rob Plath




homemade earring


when i was fifteen years old

i made a homemade earring

for my newly pierced ear

it was very different

it had one long silver chain

that dangled to my shoulder

& one shorter silver chain

about half its length

on the ends of each chain

were two different metal crosses

one cross i pulled from my

communion rosary beads

& the other from an old

set of rosary beads i found in

my mother's bedroom drawer

one cross had a tiny jesus pinned

on it w/ small silver tacks

but i wanted plain crosses

 so i popped him off

w/ a screwdriver & tossed him

 into an empty milk carton

in the kitchen garbage

the other jesus was inseparable

from his cross, it was like he had grown

out of it, so i took him into the garage

put him in my father's vice grip

& shaved him off w/ a steel file

when the cross was level i blew

the shavings off of the workbench

& went inside to finish my earring

the two crosses hung & spun & shined

back in school the earring was a hit

everyone complimented me on it

when my friends found out how i made it

they bragged to others how i had

filed jesus off the cross

they’d all laugh & call me a sick fuck

the earring became so popular that

some days i let it be passed around

each period for a different friend to wear

some offered small amounts of money

to get to wear it certain days

even the teachers were fascinated by it

then whoever was wearing it would mention

how it was made: filed jesus off the cross

& the teachers' eyes would widen

& they'd back away

from the dangling myth-making crosses

twisting & shining in their dim classroom




a line, (a short blue one)













a line, (a short blue one)



just shrug, you son-of-a-bitch


be stoic

w/yr demons

they'll respect

you for it

demons feed on

flimsy guts

so cross yr legs

& wait

for the first rake

of the claws

& as the blood

trickles down

the tracks on yr back

shrug yr shoulders

& gaze at the stars



a line, (a blue one)


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