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16| Hymn for Atlanta

Peter LaBerge

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Quiet, the toaster. Quiet, the scalloped flesh,
the bathroom sinks. Saints wander the boy’s head

like men lost in hallways, like children watching
mothers mop violent mornings into nightgowns.

The wisdom of Georgia is spread wide across
duplex floors — boys white as scarecrows

long-bleached and convinced they are men,
boys willing to piece together the broken

weathervanes of foreclosing farms, maiden
gardens. This boy is left with his mother white

as fox underbelly, a consolation
prize of blessed skin, of rivers and begonias.

Peter LaBerge is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. His recent poetry and critical work appears in such publications as The Louisville Review, DIAGRAM, The Newport Review, BOXCAR Poetry Review, Weave Magazine, and Hanging Loose, among others. In the past, he has been named a two-time Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medalist for Poetry and a commended Foyle Young Poet of the Year. He grew up in southwestern Connecticut and currently serves as the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Adroit Journal.

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