Ma first caught me ashing a cigarette off to the side of the old home where the creek rustled through the canebrakes. She said I didn’t teach you to treat yourself like that. She said you always got yourself tied to things that’ll kill you without knowing. She said death creeps up like a pale horse till you’re brokebacked bending over to pick up dandelions for the one you love and then you wind up on your back dead and roasting with your arms across your chest and those same flowers tucked into the breast pocket of your only suit and no one sees fit to carry you they’re all too busy saying I told you so.

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Devin Kelly is an MFA student at Sarah Lawrence College where he serves as head nonfiction editor for LUMINA Journal. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Dunes Review, Catch & Release, Steel Toe Review, Cleaver Magazine, and Passages North. He teaches creative writing and English classes to seventh graders and high schoolers in Queens, and teaches poetry workshops for the New York Public Library. He currently lives in Harlem.

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