Natural Born Losers

by Nicole Dollanganger

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i shot an angel with my father’s rifle i should have set it free, but i let it bleed made it into taxidermy, hung it on my wall i shot an angel, kept it in my backyard hung it out to dry on the clothing line pinned above my bed like the cross of jesus christ on the wall and i know one day hell will catch up to me and i’m sure that i will burn eternally one day it will come to claim its pound of flesh when it’s done, there won’t be anything left i shot an angel, dragged it to my basement starved it till it died and i did not cry sickness of poacher’s pride
Mean 04:13
born a cop in uniform in black vinyl gloves i don’t hate you for your steel-toed boots or your handcuffs you are the way you always were you like your cruel games but i am not so quick to break i count my gain in blood & pain i like it when it hurts like hell there’s nothing you can do to me i wouldn’t do to myself i’ll be bound to you in leather & chains i’ll be your sister your young bride your daughter your slave
empties lined along the porch shoot them dead, show no remorse white trashing with you live in endless afternoon making love to the Sunday cartoons white trashing with you all that glitters is not gold and this same place is getting old but dreams are fulfilled where the purple grass grows i can see it all just beyond our window innocence that i have bled carved your name into my leg white trashing with you plastic jesus, Santa Claus rotting like relics in the yard white trashing with you inherited your dad’s crazy eyes history repeats our whole damn lives yeah this place gets old but it’s really hard to scrub the dog piss out of a white trash heart
Swan 02:31
the swan sang with a broken neck out by the pool, behind the fence you can’t forgive me when you know if i had the gun i’d choose to shoot again he raised my hands in the backyard he taught me to be a good shot you love the sound of sorry even when you know i’m not in the holy land of broken homes you still pretend you don’t know that i took it out back and i snapped its neck just like a wishbone and let it die he raised my hands in the backyard he taught me to be a good shot you love the sound of sorry even when you know i’m not
In the Land 04:24
hell has a name — “satan’s den” got the lock on the trailer, got the tape recorder in he’s gonna strap her to the bed, spread apart her legs and pull the soul out of the body that its in and when he’s done he will give her to the earth a starving animal will always feed god as his witness he’ll smile as he watches her bones slide between its teeth never grow old, never grow old in the land where she’ll never grow old never grow old, never grow old in the land where she’ll never grow old give it up for the milk carton angel soaked in vomit, tied up at the kitchen table choking on the chicken bones, a plate of mashed potatoes her momma screaming “come on, bitch, chew and swallow” when she’s done she will give her to the earth wrap her in bags on the side of the road god as her witness she’ll smile as she sets her on fire and watches her go
drinking a cup of alligator blood tastes like the heads & feet we’d see for sale at the local pawn we’d make necklaces out of i’d wear them round my neck i’m a sucker for the love of the flesh all things rancid and delicate but the smell in the summer heat it still gets to me knee-deep in the poacher’s dream he dragged that thing out back and he hung it upside down & slit its belly open and then he let it bleed out he held my head & made me watch filled my mouth up with its blood and said “grow up weak or grow up tough” playing in the swamp of alligator blood behind our house in the marshy lawn he’d always hold my head under the water a little too long cuz he wanted me to be all guts no glory “all survivor, no guilt” he said but he calls me his crocodile tears while i’m chained up to the bed when i was done - wiped my mouth on his sleeve i fucked the soul of the south but it crucified me
Executioner 04:26
baby, you have to pay in this way or another in this life or the next for as long as we’ve known each other you’ve been playing this game with death one day you will be tried on the execution line he’ll strap you in & you will fry like fireworks on the 4th of July baby, you have to pay in this way or another whether you can cry or not oh, how sad to face the judgement unprepared to meet your god he will wear a rubber coat shoot lightning through the vital veins they think that you emit the light but you only take it in the man in uniform will come and he will stick it in the arm you’ll scream out for your father and in darkness i pray you never find him again (everybody fries in texas)
he wants to lift weights like a fighter we put the medals on the wall lost in the room of starving vultures gold trophies, he got em all he wants to be just like his father we play the knife game on the table i bleed to death, it doesn’t matter cuz my baby he’s still the winner he holds me in his arms but it’s no good things don’t go like they should sleep on the carpet through the night we’re living off a TV dinner hanging me up by his gold chain he used to be a hockey player i used to be a figure skater cutting my leg with the blade in the blue and red arena trying to pretend we’re the same
my bedroom smells like rotten food and i guess so do i it’s harder to be good in here than it is to starve and die i’d give my body to satan if i could only keep my soul but i can’t seem to find the split between them anymore my hair is falling out again and i don’t really care i try to stir my conscience it was never really there your fingers up inside of me feel like fingers down my throat everything is fine in heaven but i’ll never get to know make sacrifice in bathtubs and stained bed covers soak all of my clothes in holy water and drown them like a crying son drown them like a crying daughter praying in the night to the angels of porn nails in their wrists, knees on the floor great lakes full of cum extracted from everyone
you’re so cool you’re so cool walking down the hall wild eyes they are black like the magic 8 ball you got guns for trophies mounted up like animal heads with the skulls of all the high school champs you keep in rows above the bed, you told me “when i’m good, i’m very good but when i’m bad, i’m better” i'm yours forever, i'm yours forever you’re so cool you’re so cool i’ll bet when you were born all the orange crush & ne-hi soda bottles in the world fizzed over they wanna break yr heart but it’s made of blood & tar you carry all that suffering like a gun between your arms you told me: “when i’m good, i’m very good but when i’m bad, i’m better” i'm yours forever, i'm yours forever & i see the future and there’s no death cuz you and i we’re angels


released October 9, 2015


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