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John Dorroh has never had to use a defibrillator, nor has he fallen into an active volcano. He did manage to bake bread with Austrian monks & consume a healthy portion of their beer. Two of his poems were nominated for Best of the Net. Others have appeared in journals such as Feral, Burningword, Tilde, North Dakota Quarterly, Pinyon, and Selcouth Station. His first chapbook, “Swim at Your Own Risk,” was released in March, 2022. A second one is in the make.


Trigger Warning

I’m not sending my sister any more poems
because I think they scare her, make her
think I’m a sorcerer or wizard/ I mean,
it’s just a bunch of letters strung together
to make words/ That’s all it is, words strung
together in no syndicated order/ Maybe
it’s her elixir perhaps, to pretend she doesn’t
understand how to unravel the pattern
and solve part of the delicate mystery/
Maybe it’s true – that she really doesn’t
see through smoke – and subsequently
pokes holes with her fingers to see
what she recognizes on the other side.
I don’t care if she can’t digest the entire
alphabet. From now on, if she asks
to see them, I will make it a gift. And
if she never utters another word about it,
that will be just fine.

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