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I had to squint to notice them. The lines
that bicker up to door jamb in the kitchen—

a notch for every year, or half-a-year,
depending on how much the kids had grown.

A coat of paint is all it takes and if
it’s not like new, it’s good enough for now.

Any sign they ever lived here is blotted out
except, perhaps, in Polaroids, stashed

in someone’s attic with the bric-a-brac
they couldn’t bring themselves to throw away—

all crew cuts and towel-capes on summer break
circa ninety-nine. But now those kids

are just like me. Beer gut and greys in the drain—
fit for this life and mortgaged into it.

—Dan Rattelle

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