the houses of the poor…

… they creak and crack
with their crooked doors and
windows and their
sagging hallway floors

the kitchen sink
absorbs its contents
in an ancient crumbling
brownish film

you wish to bathe?
oh, we don’t bathe here
but if you wish you can pull the
filmy plastic curtains
take a cold shower
(landlord’s turned the heat off again)

when you’re clean we can
go for a night on the town
if we don’t eat lunch all week
we have seven dollars to spend

next week’s a holiday
one less day’s pay
have to tighten our belts