A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2005, vol 1 no 1

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Judson Evans, USA



What I remember of poverty in other peoples' homes was the larval repulsion, smothering warm and close in the early morning kitchen to wait for the twins to walk to school. In other rooms the two older brothers loosely muscled in Italian T-shirts, wandered in yellowed underwear or snored on ripped Salvation Army couches—Dark pyramids of broken TV sets, one, a gauze of magnetic snow provided sound, the other without a speaker—the grainy picture. A blur between waking and sleeping—The brother-in-law's cot an island of tousled bedclothes in the living room, lawn furniture in the kitchen, food smells and body smells too close together. The brothers had Biblical names—Jacob, Adam, Joseph, apprentices of their sign painter father. They made a cottage industry of the cheap jewelry sold at amusement parks and carnivals. The plastic halves of Clorox bottles held gold chains and marbles.

barely a shade darker
than his veins
homemade tattoo

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