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Eleanor Stanford

They hollow you out. Their colored plastic shovels
working, scraping the bottom
of the sandbox.

Still, you can’t say it.

What are you doing? I ask my two-year old.
My back turned, stirring something.
Playing with knives, he says. His enunciation
newly honed, proud blade.

Look out the window. The suburbs’ orderly
paved quiet. The streets named for tribes
long since extinct.

Last week, when I left
a bone-handled knife on the stove,
and the flame caught, I stood there, mouthing
Fire. Fire. As though saying it
I’d set the house ablaze.

Eleanor Stanford

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