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Excerpt from The Thin Wall

Martha Rhodes

Nothing is the thin wall of glass (as thin as skin)
just over there. I think if I look at that woman’s shoes,
coated in hardened mud—and if I calculate
the weight that this playground supports right now,
all the dirt, dogs, benches, swing sets, and if I count
from memory the freckles on my mothers arms and face—
I might forget about the one who wakes me by screeching
into my brain that Nothing grabs us all, good or bad, boy,
girl popular, un-, you. I also think that my ability
to become misplaced, to take a few steps away and find myself
in someone’s poppy garden, or in the frozen aisle at the market,
or hovering at the ceiling of my sister’s bedroom in Thomaston
looking down at her asleep—lost, upside down, turned-around-unableto-
navigate-lost—so far might have . . . I believe . . . kept me

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