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  • Labor Day
  • Ephraim Scott Sommers (bio)

On the day Ricky and Brandon die of heroin in the Taco Bellparking lot, you skate home shirtless,

get lost in the hometownheat, stab a lit candle into a chicken

pot pie, and pray to the gods of dirt. On three-day weekends,more and more nickels at the park fall

short of the fountain; each day growsolder than the next. The clothes hangers seem to want

to be empty, the carpet full, the sun tea jug unfilled.And you can’t drink your way out, but you will try

a fifth of Jim Beam, two Percocet, and rough sexwith a pink bandanna

for a blindfold, your first finger in the ass.In Chumash,

Atascadero means mud-hole, means no-way-out,bowlegged or not,

no matter what buckshot you’re carrying.              No matter how big your dick is, when you wake up

every day in the lake of this town,              your heart is a sunk paddleboat,

and no one has a crane or a tow winchor a beef-red Chevy strong enough. [End Page 10]

Ephraim Scott Sommers

A singer and guitar player, Ephraim Scott Sommers has produced three full-length albums of music and toured both nationally with the band Siko and internationally as a solo artist. Recent poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Copper Nickel, Harpur Palate, The Journal, TriQuarterly, Verse Daily and elsewhere. New work is also forthcoming in American Poetry Journal and Weave Magazine. The co-editor of unread: exceptional expressions of extraordinary poetry (, Ephraim is currently teaching creative writing while a PhD Candidate at Western Michigan University. Please visit:



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