portion of the artwork for Michael Meyerhofer's poem

Michael Meyerhofer

I was terrified of pronouncing shirt
as shit, rap as rape, and most of all, beast

as breast, having already seen what happened
to those who committed such wrongs

in a world where just one letter separates
laughter from slaughter, when the sole way

to avoid ending up like a rain-whipped
sapling under thunderheads of grade school

ridicule was to worship the difference
between rectal and recital, to mouth

each syllable like a prayer—dust to dust,
firehose to firehouse, astray to ashtray.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 49 | Spring/Summer 2017