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"FOXFIRE 7", "The Worst Things I've Done" & "Perspective/Waterfront" by Daniel Miller


Mama said I was born in the bathtub. Came right out the drain when she was getting ready to wash. The creek was low, that day, so all the water was muddy. And I came out, and a mosquito bit her on the back of the neck. Mama says she still had her clothes on, when it happened, and I came out. Says I already knew how to swim.

I don’t know anymore, so I just wade in lakes, knee deep, and think about lead pipes. Nothing’s quite so heavy… right out the drain, like nothing, like I was the water myself.

Made the hounds bark.

The Worst Things I’ve Done The walls of suburbia are tan bricks stacked over cinderblocks glued down in strokes of slated hammers, gluing me down in the red dirt and black tar. The greatest writers of our time were pretty much dead by the ’90s. Thomas Mann would be an interesting read if I didn’t know him so well. But I do; the worst things I’ve done all look like dying on a beach, lesions full of salt and sand, cysts of the heart—tan grains and tan skin and abrasive black water pool at my ankles, the bone’s out like it could poke through and show me something pure and white, clean and dry, but the only white I see is wet across my chest—shot out by a man old enough to know I’m young enough to know the worst things I’ve done have come, and will come over me again and again like waves, heavy like the ground.


To have said what I needed to say and been worse off for it.

To push, deep in, and pull out bloody—to saw off my leg

just to fill my mouth with something other than words.

Ripping raw meat would never be enough to show the wound

of saying it back and not hearing it the first time.

Not that it hurt, just that it was messy.

Daniel Miller (they/he) is a new poet from Virginia. They are a student at the University of Mary Washington and have been published in the University's student magazine, The Aubade. His work examines the queer experience from the point of views of a gay male and nonbinary intersection. They are 20 years old, an aspiring hiker, and a Robert Mapplethorpe apologist.


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