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I spread out the paper and uncap my pen,
lean across the table using the frayed cushion
for support, taking care not to stain my sleeve.
You join your hands as if ready for prayer,
we winnow our way through the clues,
I write in the words while you change your mind.
We almost always finish the crossword, but when we falter,
you go round and round, churning letters in your mouth like butter,
until, in a fit of pique, I jam letters into words and declare it done.