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By David C. Nielsen

Close your eyes and don’t peek-but I peeked.
I expected angels,
smiling down,

slapping high fives,
reeling in the words
like rainbow trout.

Instead, it was like swimming underwater:
I could stare where I wanted, make faces,
wiggle my tongue.

The woman next to me
whispered amens. I thought about
kissing her,

laying a wet smack on her lips
and watching her wake
like snow white.

A girl my size swung her legs
on the back row, looked around like this
was a baseball game—

an easy afternoon,
warm, breezy.
I wanted her

to see me, to reach out
across the deaf sea of people
and mouth hello.