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Response to the Keep Out Signs

 
 
You are multiplying from my childhood
home, but who would want to enter
that overgrown field? All I’m saying is
two signs on the pole might be a few too many.
 
Hammer that emotional effort to something else.
Paint something wiser on that scrap wood.
No one’s asking you to invite but a little imagination
never pulled the hordes of stinging wasps closer
than you’ve already done. All I needed was a picture—
where my father threatened to drown us, laughing.
In that picture the water looked exactly like a road.
 
 
 

Originally from central Florida, MJ Santiago currently lives and works in New York. Their work has appeared in Reservoir Lit, Heavy Feather Review, and No, Dear Magazine. Their first chapbook, baby knife, is forthcoming from tenderness, yea in April 2018.