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June 2009, vol 5 no 2

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Jeffrey Woodward

 

Legion

The landlord met me at the door to the bungalow, and it was sticky and still, a black cloud overhead. The landlord met me at the door where he exchanged a key for the agreed-upon cash. He was a fat man, a fidgety man, and sweating profusely, he dabbed now at his brow, now at the back of his neck with a white handkerchief.

His property sat on an out-of-the-way and rickety cul-de-sac. Other than the queer, sickly, yellow wooden shingles, that tract house could have stood in for the white shack next door, for the brown one beyond or for the next white one beyond that.

on the shady side
of the white clapboard,
a rest for the eyes

"Itís real quiet hereabouts," the landlord kept saying, "and ainít nobody asking nobody no questions," he mumbled while chewing one end of a big cheap cigar.

I watched him pocket the last of my cash, then closed the door behind him. I glanced about. The floors were swept clean and the place was bare. I didnít recoil from the quiet or the blank vacancy surrounding me. I hadnít come with furniture or with luggage but with a plain gunny sack and with my by-then familiar voices, the brittle voices of my dead, and they were legion.

I was only holing up for a short while anyway, holing up long enough to catch my breath, and then I would be traveling on.

a pregnant spider
waxing great at the threshold ó
a flash of lightning

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