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I don’t believe in hokum and 
I don’t believe in woo until, 
of course, I do. Like anyone,

I am sometimes desperate and
sometimes grieving and I am
often a constellation of panics. 

So I don’t believe in claptrap 
and I don’t believe in bunkum.

Even when my tarot deck
tells me how to love 
and when I’ll die. 

I don’t believe in impossibilities.
I’m wary of improbabilities.

And I don’t actually believe 
hurricanes are my fault.

Yes, I might be startled 
if a hum I’m sure is passing 
traffic manifests in my bedroom.

But ignore me in a foxhole.
I am prey to my survival.

I don’t believe in hogwash 
and I don’t believe in hooey 

and I don’t believe that magnets 
will vacuum up your cancer.

I can’t think magically.
I can’t believe you’ll visit me
through some celestial cellophane.

And I don’t believe that love 
is a salve for all the suffering,
nor are they comorbidities.

But rather, two shadows, 
for a gasp overlapping.

This poem was originally published in Volume 71 No. 2 of Beloit Poetry Journal.

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