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Alan DeNiro

Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Published In: Willow Springs, Cimarron Review, Artful Dodge, Graham House Review, Rattle, Blue Moon Review, Melic Review, Pif, etc.
Other: Editor of Taverner's Koans


The unapproachable silence,
the door always retreating from the doorframe.

This reminds me of you,
and I am left on the fringes of your territory,

insulated, with nothing to say,
like now. Like the winter morning where I said

I couldn't stand you anymore,
and you left the house, screaming at me

in another language,
a tone of voice I couldn’t decipher.

Once, on the edge of a campground,
I remember raccoons, concealed in their masks,

hovering near the edge
of the dumpster, tearing apart old bags of food

with their thick and dirty paws,
stream-wet, their eyes small amber mirrors

as we pointed flashlights at them.
And now, I'm blinded by the headlights

of cars that are moving
in every familiar direction at once. I am left

standing outside of your
brickrow, the children running past

with black Halloween masks,
candy wrappers in tatters at the bottom of their bags.