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from heaven was said
———to have said that the gates are not pearly
but white and scaly
———like fish. He swam
through them after the accident—
———bad sight lines on a rural road,
his father said. Everyone thought
———the boy was dead. Pay attention,
he breathed in the hospital bed.
———Angels, muscular dynamos,
bear the weight of wings
———from waist to shoulder.
God is tall. His robes are white. We cannot see
———His face.
The boy cannot move
———below the neck;
an electrical current
———stimulates his breath.
I wanted attention, he told us
———later, after his father
wrote down the heaven fables.
———That is not what I said,
he said. We should wait for
———the rhythmic click
that will push air through the tube
———into his body, listen.
The boy did not come back
———from heaven.



Lisa Ampleman is the author of two books of poetry, most recently Romances (LSU) and a chapbook. She lives in Cincinnati, where she is managing editor of the Cincinnati Review and poetry series editor at Acre Books.


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