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Kim Garcia

Seven

I’m seven and I can go to hell if I think of a sin and do it, so I’m forgetting all I can but some things stay stuck

like wishing he were dead even though I said, God bless our brave men and women in uniform seven times seven after

and Jesus, Jesus, Jesus not in the mad way that sends you to hell, but the happy way that means you’re praying, and you mean it.

And he still hit her and broke things and there wasn’t any reason but she screamed one time, I’m glad you’re going back to a Rock,

and I’m sure that’s bad because he stopped hitting things and started to cry, loud so I could hear him. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, God bless our brave men and women in uniform.

And now when I make myself go to sleep after mama says our prayer, God bless daddy in Iraq (not a rock at all, a sand place), I dream I’m the girl drone

my daddy said he’d fly one day after he got done with the drones he flew in Nevada. One day they’d be drones mixed with people like transformers, but all good. And he’d

feel his G’s again, and it would be like flying in your own skin, not inside a box, and think how high you’d be, way over the desert and you’d kill all the bad guys and save

the good people. The pastor says when you’re seven you know good and bad, and I could fly over to where my daddy is and be invisible right over his bed, and he’d say, baby, is that you?

But I wouldn’t say anything. I’d watch him and see when he turned good. Then I’d say Are you good now? Are the bad guys dead? And he’d say, Yes, baby, we’re through.

Kim Garcia is the author of The Brighter House, winner of the 2015 White Pine Press Poetry Prize, DRONE, winner of the 2015 Backwaters Prize, and Madonna Magdalene, released by Turning Point Books in 2006. Her chapbook Tales of the Sisters won the 2015 Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, Nimrod and Subtropics, and her work has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac. Recipient of the 2014 Lynda Hull Memorial Prize, an AWP Intro Writing Award, a Hambidge Fellowship and an Oregon Individual Artist Grant, Garcia teaches creative writing at Boston College.

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