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Target Practice, and: Flowers and Runaways
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Target Practice

A Sunday morning voice behind the door I hadn’t opened said she was selling the Socialist Review and asked if I wasn’t ready “to take up arms for the revolution.” I offered a dollar and the conversation turned to capitalism: she worked part time, didn’t vote, and spent her afternoons on the firing range taking practice shots at President Clinton. I’d never held a handgun, and she wanted me to learn. The workers were uniting, but I wanted coffee and the paper, no matter what the commandant said. I don’t believe in revolution, but I often want to let the stranger in.

Flowers and Runaways

Street teens repeat the standard line: “Spare change for bud.” Who sleeps in the park, who sleeps in the suburb, the shirt’s the same, green day. You lived at Haight and Ashbury, the house without a gate, and stepped over junkies sprawled on the welcome mat, gloving your hand to retrieve their needles. Sunday mornings, hung over, you rolled out to buy coffee and bagels, but mostly to breathe the park air and soak up the fog, its democratic calm, what you shared with those teens beside the neighbor’s angel’s-trumpets, a pendulous bell that calls the eye to see and the mouth to taste its poison.

Keith Ekiss  

Keith Ekiss is a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow. He is the author of Pima Road Notebook and the translator of The Fire’s Journey by the Costa Rican poet Eunice Odio. Last year he was a Robert Frost Fellow in Poetry at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Copyright © 2014 Louisiana State University Press
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Keith Ekiss. "Target Practice, and: Flowers and Runaways." Southern Review 50.2 (2014): 175-176. Project MUSE. Web. 25 Apr. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Ekiss, K.(2014). Target Practice, and: Flowers and Runaways. Southern Review 50(2), 175-176. Louisiana State University Press. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Keith Ekiss. "Target Practice, and: Flowers and Runaways." Southern Review 50, no. 2 (2014): 175-176. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed April 25, 2014).
T1 - Target Practice, and: Flowers and Runaways
A1 - Keith Ekiss
JF - Southern Review
VL - 50
IS - 2
SP - 175
EP - 176
PY - 2014
PB - Louisiana State University Press
SN - 2168-5541
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/southern_review/v050/50.2.ekiss.html
N1 - Volume 50, Number 2, Spring 2014
ER -


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