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a compromise was reached

i woke up this morning and all we had was cold water
and on the radio someone was saying something
about all god’s children.

on my way home from work, i walked past the police station,
where nobody looked friendly. i kept walking.

i walked into the bar and sat down
next to my friend sally,
who said she had recently taken a part-time job as a coal miner.
she said she’d had to get a special haircut and everything.
i asked her how she had gotten a job like that
and she told me “carelessness.”

i asked her what it was like, and she said it was colder than expected.
she told me about these kids she’d known growing up
and that they were all spoiled
in ways that made you think of milk.

i had the feeling that a lot of what she’d said
was standing in for something else.

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brooklyn, ny, United States