I watch cracked television in mildewed daylight,

Shower beer acrid on my teeth.

The pixel people laugh at me 

Although I’ve never considered myself very funny.

Outside, Mrs. Church walks her dog, the barks curling my insides like prawns in hot butter.

Its twine leash tethered to Mrs. Church; her thin hands unfaithful.   

You see, her husband left again last night

Left her with his howling dog 

And a gash on her stomach like a torn-up bedsheet.

His car door slam shattered my TV screen. 

Please, please let me rip him up too

A rusty hook in a blowfish.

The church bells ring hollow across cracked highway

Twigs clog gutters and garbage truck horns drown the bleak suburban dew.

The church bells ring 

As priests go home to wives who like small dogs more than husbands.

Her knuckles soft against my front door

Pixel people cackle

Till my damp hair dries

Maybe I am funny after all 

Because Mrs. Church tells me so

As we lie on hardwood floor.

Bruised belly is red and blue on her porcelain skin 

A star-spangled banner ripped to shreds.

I vow to revive my fishing rod.

My lips dry on her eyelids

Pixel people silence and the garbage piles high on this town’s edges

Her crisscrossed stomach biblical beneath my still fingers.

A Sacred Starvation.

A Brief Salvation.

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