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Counting the Hours

Hell in a very small place
is directly beneath my feet.

Las Hermanas de Las Dolorosas
live if you want to call it living
in the apartment below my soles.

Their bickering ends only
when one or both of them
lose or loses consciousness.
O to sleep
and not to scream.

They are up and at each other
at nine o’clock
ten o’clock
one forty-four
and five-thirty the following
morning. Sometimes I expect

to hear gunshots and hope
they don’t accidentally aim
at their ceiling. More likely
I think their impasse could
resolve with crashings of furniture
and smashings of glass and
wailings followed by
silence,
sirens,
and the news trucks showing
up outside on the street.

Most likely, though, it will
go on and on, the muffled
whine, the occasional shout,
no end in sight, two people
locked together forever
in their love and hate.

Published inOniontownPoemsWords

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