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Waiting with an unfinished, finished look

behind honeysuckles that crown Old Saybrook,

she is reading Vita Sackville-West,

he has food on his moth-eaten sweater vest.

Here’s the Oriental rug, still steeped in piss

from their bulldog who barked like an activist.

She seems happy, reigning with creams you FedExed,

rubbing his scalp, patched with scabby flecks

(as his squamous-cell carcinomas sprout,

the local dermatologist cuts them out

or frosts the growths with liquid nitrogen).

Tonight they talk of their last vegetable garden,

count out their pills in chipped cereal bowls

(you know the ones), check their sugar levels,

bicker over books misplaced, tchotchkes

lost, their tongues like well-used church keys.

Brother, last night half the garden nearly froze.

The dash between their dates is nearly closed.

The Fifth Commandment

Spencer Reece

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George McWhirter

The Jaguar

translated from the Spanish written by
Homero Aridjis
Ishion Hutchinson