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Steve Deutsch

Steve Deutsch lives in State College, PA. Some of his recent publications have or will appear in Moria Literary Magazine, Panoply, MacQueens Quinterly,Santa Clara Review, Sangam, Poetica Review, Lothlorien, Muddy River Poetry Review, Silver Birch, Backchannels, Red Weather, The Drabble, Sheila-na-gig, The Rush, Pirene’s Fountain, Evening Street Review, and Schuylkill Valley Journal. He is poetry editor of Centered Magazine. Steve was nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. His Chapbook, “Perhaps You Can,” was published in 2019 by Kelsay Press. His full length book, Persistence of Memory was published in 2020 by Kelsay. Steve’s third book of poetry, Going, Going, Gone, was published in 2021.

Colt 45

At six,
I shed baby teeth
so regularly
I whistled
with every word.

The third week
of first grade
we had
and the local ragamuffins,

captive in their Sunday best,
brought boxes and paper bags
and a pillowcase or two—
some with moving parts
that mewed or whined

or chirped.
I brought my brother’s
pistol—the one he hid
behind the tenement steps
that led to the basement.

To get it in my lunch box,
I had to squash
my PB&J and banana.
And it was heavy—
it took all my strength

to lug it across the boulevard
and up the stairs
to the classroom.
I sat behind three lucky
charms and a two-headed

When I took the pistol out—
the room went dead
silent—a silence
I had never heard before

or since.
And then the room erupted.
Later that day,
I learned a long word:


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