Juvenal

Where the basement drywall intersects
he tapes, muds, sands, repeats.
For him, it is a two-day job.

Short and sloe-eyed in spackled painter pants,
he is cheerful, saying little, though his english is okay.
His smile says most things for him.

A few weeks later his boss calls,
says Juvenal is in the hospital —
stabbed by his lover.

He was trying to break up with her,
in the kitchen, while she chopped carrots.

She stabbed him nine times in the back.
Three kids. Meth.

He is back at work now,
on the house up the street.

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