the angel of sidewalks

& the angel of convenience stores
& the angel of schools
& the angel of parking lots

& bowling alleys & living rooms
& bed rooms & front yards & basements
have all lodged their complaint

when they want to know did
their job change to this
when & how long will it be this

this mopping up this scrubbing
this dealing in the afters
in the bodies & the families left

they’ve spoken with the angel
of exceptional cases to note
this is much too routine

& to the angels of righteous
anger & empathy & justice
to ask where where where

are you does not your god
like our god teach thou
shalt not kill thou shalt not

kill thou shalt not kill
how long o lord they’ve asked
how long before the dancing

& the strutting & the strolling
how long before the romancing
& the reminiscing

before stoops & porches
& swings & courts & the smooth
concrete floors of garages

are for congregating & carrying on
how long before they are again
angels of play & coming together

before they hear again

olly olly oxen free

—Jeremy Dae Paden



Jeremy Dae Paden was born in Milan, Italy and raised in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. He lives in Lexington, Ky where he is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American literature at Transylvania University and spends his free time baking bread for his children and wife. His poems have appeared in here there and yon, including Atlanta Poetry Journal, Adirondack Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Louisville Review, pluck!, Tidal Basin Review, and various others places and journals.

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