Mr. And Mrs. Hughes Make Up
  And Wake The Dead

Sunday morning, and Sylvia
works the crossword puzzle
with a race track pencil stub
bitten to the quick—like a
cocktail swizzle stick.

Sylvia says: “Hmmm… Fauntelroy.
As in Little Lord. Or is it Fauntleroy?
With an ‘ l...e...’ in the second
syllable, there?... As in fondle?”

Ted shakes his head: “Must we start
again now, sweetheart?”

“Teddy...oh Teddy. Twenty two...down
...Fourteen letters for what reminds me
of that cartoon on the Telly… A stuttering
sailor, sucking up greasy spinach strands,
as salve for a wilted stalk.”

Sylvia flicks her fingernail at Ted’s
pale-blue boxer shorts hanging
on the handle of the bedside Hoover,
and regards the croissant crumbs
on his chest as a swash of nascent gray
hairs which, like ashes from a flue,
she rightly blows away,
and Sylvia continues:

“Give me another word… for some skinny
hysterical bitch with tits the size of olive pits…
who is terrorized by Uncouth Lumberjack—
...and where’s the succor from her
satyr?...her sailor?”

Ted bangs the Op Ed page against his naked thigh,
stifling a sigh. “The work,” he replies. ‘Darling how
many more times shall I tell you—our work
is the only important thing?”

“Across...twenty six...the Stuttering
Puffer Fish, and his rakish bitch...”

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