A dull sound, varying now and again by Forrest Hamer

And then we began eating corn starch,
chalk chewed wet into sirup. We pilfered
Argo boxes stored away to stiffen
my white dress shirt, and my cousin
and I played or watched TV, no longer annoyed
by the din of never cooling afternoons.

On the way home from church one fifth Sunday,
shirt outside my pants, my tie clipped on
its wrinkling collar, I found a new small can of snuff,
packed a chunk inside my cheek, and tripped
from the musky sting making my head ache,
giving me shivers knowing my aunt hid cigarettes

in the drawer under her slips,
that drawer the middle one on the left.

by Forrest Hamer

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