My Grandfather Died Immediately When He Had a Stroke by Justin Karcher

Summer in this town is a giant ashtray
Where dead grandfathers scrub themselves
Until they have skin again

Summer is when we swallow bars of soap
Until our songs are clean again
But summer is also when drug sniffing angels

Break into our homes late at night
To confiscate the tumors
Hidden in dresser drawers

Then they fly to the American side of Niagara Falls
And put our tumors in barrels
And push them over

When the barrels break open on the rocks below
Our tumors form cancerous constellations
Shedding light on our deepest darkest secrets

Meanwhile tourists on the Canadian side
Are hitting each other with blue bouquets
Lamenting the start of pain in America

But at least there’s a breeze
Blowing through your hair
At least daylight is popping Viagra so it lasts longer

We’re trying to make the best of a bad situation
Slathering sunscreen on abandoned train cars
And bringing them back to life

Riding the rails straight into the heart of the sun

Justin Karcher Author Photo copy
Justin Karcher is the author of Tailgating at the Gates of Hell from Ghost City Press,, the chapbook When Severed Ears Sing You Songs from CWP Collective Press, and the micro-chapbook Just Because You’ve Been Hospitalized for Depression Doesn’t Mean You’re Kanye West from Ghost City Press,, as part of their 2017 summer micro-chapbook series. His recent work has appeared in Thought Catalog, Occulum, L’Éphémère Review, Anti-Heroin Chic and more. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Ghost City Review. His one act play When Blizzard Babies Turn to Stone premiered in February at Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, NY. He tweets @Justin_Karcher

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