Even if those preternatural moans that came through
the thin closet walls between my room and his
were hers, I knew that the next morning
she'd leave early, having dressed in the wintery dark
(not wanting to shower in our unhygienic front bath)
and I'd still be lying there, under my makeshift blanket
of crushed velvet, able to hear his low snoring.

Tony didn't like her. "She's too straight for Len," he told me.

A cold Friday night, mid-March: Tony was in juvie and she'd invited Len for a steak dinner.

Hah! I sabotaged that one.
We fired up a load of crank before he left.
Under my tongue I could taste the metallic blood of the steak
he wouldn't be able to eat.

Len came back early; I turtlewaxed the LeMans in the dim garage while he puttered around under the hood, disconnecting and reconnecting hoses and wires for most of the night.

After dawn, we drove the LeMans to the Safeway on Bollinger
and bought a bottle of Gallo Red Port to take the edge off.


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