Clothes are piled two feet up off the floor, there is no walking, but for tripping to get out the door. A tin door on a tin trailer that has rust holes where a bathroom floor should have been, despite it never having had running water. Plywood, placed on twin beds, frames what used to be a bathroom, fashioned into a dank den for an inept mother. Instead of a mattress and blankets, a curled up ball of little girl sleeps on a built-in couch that has cushions, but no stuffing, covered in clothes that need another washing. Oil lamps shatter easily, as a pit bull’s tail ecstatically knocks against left open drawers that those clothes will not be put away in. Votives with painted Marias litter a counter covered in crusted dishes, layered with a coat of dust that turns to mud when wetted. Broken windows frame bloody fist holes that were made by hands that ache to take innocence; now, damp redwood air steals warmth from a propane tank heater. Emaciation comes quickly when mothers forget they have children, lost on benders with boyfriends on weekends that have long since turned into months. Bungee cord locks are made for breaking; they cannot keep burglars from burglaring, nor strangers from strangling. Meth head mentalities are shifted; there is no sense in quitting, effort that could be directed in living is left to giving a well lived life up.


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