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Slap! by Richard Ballon
published in Volume 8, Issue 1 on July 1st, 2001

The eye of my child,
the eye of my wife,
the eye of God staring
in the socket of heaven,
watching

the spin of you falling
away from the thwack
of this bare hand.

Great Grandpa slapping
great grandma slapping
grandpa slapping pappa
slapping me slapping you.

A thick knotted rope
braided with the weight
of a hundred hands-
spun by the great hand
which slapped Adam
from his garden.

These palms hot
to brand your flesh
with the family name.

We all will watch
a storm, in awe.
Battlefields are created
for such pleasure-
providing the taste of blood
a vampire craves.

We are, after all,
the cursed.

We are the kathump
of a heart
beating in terror.
The slam of a body
fallen unconscious.

In that field of bruises
I will plant a seed
which will blossom
when your hand opens
and learns the sound
of its first slap.

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