the destroyer

We made a date
for you to help me
die.

It happens all the time.

It doesn’t mean
we shouldn’t try.

We were looking in the fridge.

That’s called cheese and you
will help me die, I said.
Not for many years,
you said. You said it
with your eyes. You were
just a boy.

You were only two. Your
uncles and I were drunk, playing horseshoes.
I regretted it,
right as I said it.

You were afraid of the dark, but
not of Death. You enjoyed
crushing insects. Once you said
we should cut off
our heads.

You cared about the where
but not the why.
Sunset spattered blood
across the sky.
Thunder shook the blood
from both our eyes.

You were pale in the lawn, in Fantastic
Four underpants.
The sky became a
pile of death, swelling
like an undersea eruption, death
dripping like melted plastic
onto ants.

Small
for your age, but well-spoken.
Blond as a star.
Beautiful as a cannonball
skipping furrows in the world.
A grain of sand
in the reptile’s eye.

Adam Phillips currently splits his time between Boise, where he makes a living teaching and coaching junior high kids, and Rockaway Beach, Oregon, where he doesn’t. In both venues, he’s lucky enough to be accompanied by his beautiful brilliant wife and small strepitous sons. If you like his writing, you can see more of it in current or forthcoming issues of The Oddville Press, Blue Monday Review, Scarborough Fair, Dark Dossier, Blotterature, Clockwise Cat, and The Commonline Journal. His first novel, Something Like My Name, will be put out by Propertius Press this summer.

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