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Forty Watts

Dangling the end of
a dirty green twisted wire,
the slowly swinging bare light bulb
played its forty watts
against cracked green walls,
dirty frosted windowpanes sans curtains,
a floor of cracked green linoleum.

A frozen rag let cold air seep
under the old white panel door.
A gas hot plate named 'sizzle' did
the best she could in the corner
to sustain a dull livability.

The turning El ground squeaking outside,
clattering on off the station;
lit the room like a flickering
mid-movie mishap.

The smell of supper's leftover cabbage
made them feel comfortably fed;
as they played out our hands of tonk for pennies,
laughed because it was so much fun.

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