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Sandal Licking

by Ben Nardolilli

As above, then so below, I build

my defenses in the way that the gods builds theirs

with kilometers and foggy mountains

so that the gods may hide themselves from mortals.

From living below with them,

I cannot blame the divine for taking precautions

though their paranoia may extend to me,

because I also have no wings, halo, or thunderbolts.

So by mirroring their indifference,

they will see how I understand their apathy to us

and why I never made a sacrifice,

because I did not think it would reach their door

and why I was never a supplicant,

because I assumed the request would get lost

perhaps it will grant me a bump

in the waiting line snaking around the afterlife.

For now, I ignore ring and buzz,

leave my messages unread, my smile a rare gift

covering my abode with a cloud

I weave from poems I keep burning in disgust.


Ben Nardolilli is a theoretical MFA candidate at Long Island University. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Door Is a Jar, The Delmarva Review, Red Fez, The Oklahoma Review, Quail Bell Magazine, and Slab. Follow his publishing journey at


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