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2008

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Democracy Now
James Navé

It’s a late night on Pettisville Street. The stop 
lights dangle like the church bells while stray 
dogs scratch and sniff behind Bill’s Whole Burger 
Paradise. The strip club out on the Moundville four-lane is 
full of husbands and two-way truckers. Further down 
the same road, Leslie Ann, the statewide spelling bee champion,
makes it with Robby on the floor of her pop’s guesthouse. 

Rocket-propelled grenades killed Steve Auchman last week 
in Mosul. Two days later Sarah, the librarian, broke 
her ankle outside the Trailways station. Tonight, 
I’m wearing my Jimmy Buffet Jungle Bird shirt while I sit 
on the porch bouncing a ping-pong ball off a wooden paddle. The lights
flash, as always, red, yellow, green, then back again.

The nights are a little warmer this year than last. I wonder
what would happen if I lit this ping-pong ball with a match.
Would it crackle like a singed moth?