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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014

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John Zheng
Itta Bena, Mississippi, USA


The Seven-Year Itch

Seng’s wife inserts two cotton balls in her ears to block his haunting snore that sounds like a freight train rattling and clanking.

Lately, Seng has been hanging out till midnight. When he’s back, his shirt and body reek of a mixed, nasty odor of pungent perfume, alcohol, and cigarette. He’s changed into a night cat roaming in bars and night clubs, ignoring his wife’s desire for a kiss or a stroke on her back.

In old days Seng was a houseman, washing dishes, doing laundry, cooking split pea soup and scrambled eggs for breakfast, and his wife always called him Housewife in a sweet voice.

But now a glacier stretches between them. Seng snores in a bout of hiccups like gurgling a woman’s name. His wife lies awake. Perhaps she needs to cook him a split-up pea soup at sunrise.

spring equinox—
a cat’s nocturnal yowl
in the front yard

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