Academic journal article English Journal

In the Mug Shot

Academic journal article English Journal

In the Mug Shot

Article excerpt

You look down,

face scarred by something

more insidious

than the acne you had when you sat

in the second row

of my third period remedial American lit class.

It occurs to me that,

until a couple nights ago,

you were living Huck's life.

I can't help but imagine a crime scene something like

that house floating down the river, and, now,

I remember that you could never understand

how water could move an entire house.

But I think you likely do understand:

parental rage, the quirks of the violent,

desires to be anywhere but here.

Apparently, your operation was small time.

There were only a few bottles of the stuff

scattered, like your thoughts always were.

Probably Taco Bell wrappers crumpled on the


the smell of sweat and ammonia in the walls. …

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