When no one's around he materializes,
creating his own personal inferno from
stolen roadside flares.
He tries to light a cigar in the
impossibly red glow of chemical flames,
then pulls out a cocktail napkin with a moist brown ring
and reads from it my list of sins:
"You enjoy having sex with your wife,
and the sight of naked bodies doesn't
shame you nearly as much as it should,
and you've been known to use the
word 'bastard' in conversation."
And he'll read them again for good measure,
and end with a cough and a creak in his joints,
waiting to catalog more infractions
or to starve to death,
whichever comes first.
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