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The noises, molds,
the fleas, the colds
that stuff his nose,
the rats—such woes
don’t trouble those
who populate
a town whose gate
proclaims it’s great.
Though he strolls past schools
and public pools,
the fancy cars
near crowded bars
or the shopping center,
this joe, a renter,
can’t spare the price
of a bowl of stew
or gum to chew
in this paradise.
And so he dwells
in a cellar of hells—
spiders, roaches—
and so he broaches
the keg that holds
a jillion pounds
of determination.
He fills his cup
and bravely sips
the curative
each and every hour
while rodents scour
the place for scraps.
(They slip through gaps.
He lets them live.)
His sniffer drips,
bloodsuckers sup,
while his hoary hound’s
nightly thunder
is a demonstration
that life’s a wonder.

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