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Living with Arthur
by Arlene Ang

The last carpet has been flogged
outside the window. Asthma daunts all
cleaning. I know my husband: a wheeze from
the hearth when fire blazes the warmest.

My daughter says I have to stop.
She never looks under the sofa
and doesn't know dead skin cells,
the infiltration of dust.

Tiles etch lines on my bent knees,
cut deeply with nostalgia for marble.
Arthur is trapped inside an urn, his ash
swallows the house with phantom coughs.

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