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Winter '24


In darkness of debt, eviction, and perhaps,
most damning, embarrassment,

I took a walk amidst apartments leased
with student loans & drug deals,

and there was nothing ahead but oily wages,
burgers pressed into the firmament of grills,

and the clouds, harsh winds, a lunar storm
as payments were demanded;

I never opened my eyes atop the rubble,
but it was felt all the same, a slow drift

surrounded by death; both the bullet
and financial ruin.

All of us, falling over fire,
pretending it doesn’t burn.

Some are gone now, buried gracefully,
others missing in national parks.

I have put a few coins into the can
but can’t give what it demands of me.

If you run fast enough,
it won’t burn.

Brandon Shane is a poet born in Yokosuka, Japan. You can see his work in the Berlin Literary Review, Acropolis Journal, Grim & GildedSophon Lit, Marbled Sigh, among others. He would later graduate from Cal State Long Beach.

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