PAUL HLAVA - Inheritance

from by 90s Meg Ryan

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lyrics

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INHERITANCE

I flew a drone through the desert
of a computer lab. Now,
I teach my son to raise the toilet seat
and where to place his feet.

To cut a hole in toast with a plastic cup
and crack an egg inside.
We play Xbox on Sundays as a reward
for pulling weeds. I teach my son

to aim his punch six inches
behind the gut of his bully
as if there were two boys pushing him.
Gloria quietly watches TV.

I hear young men down the block
yelling over one another
about girls they’ve been with
and boys they’ve knocked out.

I want to count the times I hear the word “I.”
Can one self be so large as to contain others?
How many men are approaching?
There’s a man behind the one who’s visible,

my son on Gloria’s lap, navigating light-bursts
with a remote. I’m on the verge
of a tremendous drop, flowers below
blooming infinitely red and yellow.
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PAUL HLAVA's poems have appeared in Narrative, BOMB, the Los Angeles Times and PEN America, among other publications. He also was named a Best New Poet 2012 by Matthew Dickman, earned a 2013 Poets House fellowship and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Hlava received an MFA from New York University.
www.paulhlava.com
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credits

from The Studded Belt Phenomenon, released June 28, 2015

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90s Meg Ryan Muncie, Indiana

In 1989 Meg Ryan immortalized herself as Sally Albright.
Throughout the next decade, she mesmerized us all.

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