Paradise

I was white, and straight, and
male, and middle-class,
suspicious of every instance
of my own comfort and
discomfort. Happy then in
the here and gone, but now.
The boy who was, then and
later, my friend in the
neighborhood, told me as we
played in the construction site
that there was such a thing as
a stupid question, and that I
asked too many of them, and
rather than fighting, which
was his desire for the day, I
became preoccupied with
how he’d know, and how one
might judge such a thing, an
early indication. Ambiguous
wave. The study of dreams
might amplify waking, but
aren’t we exhausted already?

Andy Stallings lives in Deerfield, MA, where he teaches English at Deerfield Academy. His second collection with Rescue Press, Paradise, will come out in 2018. He has four young children, and coaches cross country running.

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