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The Moral of the Story

by Michael O'Ryan

The Moral of the Story

In certain

cultures twins

were thought

to be the



of floods

and quakes


existing as

both a

miracle and

your own

death rites

some people

move through

life sticking

their limbs in

animal traps

and playing in

traffic then

come out

unscathed this

is a mode of

being we

refer to as


in the original

story Pinocchio

throws hammers

with animus and

lusts after

trees of gold

before being

wrung by the

neck there’s a

lesson somewhere

in there but

lately I’ve been

rejecting the

notion that

anything outside

of death is

subject to

object permanence

especially the

moral of

the story

you see the

concept of

grace is purely


the way a


stalking takes

the form of

a dance the

sound of a

forest burning

turns to song

my life has

been a long

quiet pleading

the slow

waking of a

giant from

slumber a

mute dog



of bright


splitting trees

into halves.


Michael O'Ryan

Michael is currently serving as a poetry editor for the University of  Oregon’s Unbound Journal. His work appears or is forthcoming in Ghost City Review, Pioneertown Literary Journal, Peach Mag, Five 2 One Magazine, Laurel Magazine, Likely Red Press & elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @surfing_montana

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