Mermaid Ashtray

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Contributor: JD DeHart

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My brother came back home
at least three times.
First, after a chemical explosion
in Alabama.
I imagine he still carries some
amount of his lead in his body.

Then, after a divorce.
Messy, like a broken ankle
of the heart. He came
hobbling back to the family

I say all of this to suggest
what a shock it was to see
him in his native habitat,
I being so much younger.

The smell of smoke, an
obsession with out-of-place
exercise equipment, and a
mermaid ashtray with
breasts exposed.

I wanted to protect the rest
of my family from its crude
visage, but couldn't bear
to touch it.

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