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We dollhouse monsters

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our jowls crashing
like cymbals,
while my baby brother takes out his eight-ball
left eye and squints his right
to line up his shot
on the world’s smallest pool table.
Mother has a camera for a head;
it flashes uncontrollably
though she claims to have run
out of film a hundred years ago,
when father’s penis,
an unstoppable spigot,
became a garden sprinkler,
contained by adult diapers, changed hourly,
and hourly, my sister—
shuffling out of her hiding place
in the cuckoo clock, her hair a mess
of paper clips, a Raggedy Ann
doll
in her arms—sighs
to pass the time.
Water seeps through the ceiling,
because upstairs
the bathtub overflows, for
Grandma has forgotten
the bath she’s drawn,
and on the stove the gas is high, the flames
are heating up a pudding
over which my opa whispers:
boil, boil, loyal rubble,
follow me to the end of my life.

by Christopher Shannon

Minnie

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