Dead-end Street

Collapsing darkness,
the kind that singes like a dying cigarette.
Orange
streetlights
smoldering
at the end of the block
in a city that seems to have eyes in the back of
its scheming
hard head. It has plans for you—

Did you ever think that
you, that effervescent infectious
set of arms and legs, those
legs that go
on
and on,
could be here? In a back alley,
where rats crawl
and sirens slowly drown your voice.

Hush without pity, touch gently
the wall, another brick in
ephemeral
hope;
only the rats escape with
a snitch and a rotten crumb
of gouda that
your neighbor no longer wanted.
There is no succor.

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