alleys back... city-scapes 3
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winter back alley winds are darts, frozen
snot and ice drool.
people become the alley underground
the back shiver-alry, weary battlers,
wear worn through and no-thought
coats, desperately old, protect fly-swatter
against slices of winter swords.
it takes a hardened body,
a refrigerated mind to live,
to find shelter at night
temperatures fall gravitational to minus 30.
the garbage bin filled with half-frozen,
half eaten plates of food.
restaurants imagined as a dream world,
as a four star hotel with doormen.
nods a hat, good day, sir, ma’am.
the man, the woman know four star hotels
as a blind person knows purple or yellow.
they stay sharp against dreams,
that swell impossible
or they drift away
from their own sentinels, guarding their most
important be - long – ings,
not a room, heat, a complete meal. but clothes,
fragments of cloth and cardboard, their own pissed-dirt
and strewn-garbage territory, without needle eyes,
snatched away by the other rats,
friends, sway drunk in bright
moonlight, cloudless night, shotgun pellet wind.
warm weather, does nothing, night or day, they never
take off clothes that reflect someone’s money and job,
a prime far past,
need them like drink, like needles, like food.
knee-hole-sewn pants. unravelling sweaters
shrapnel-strafed jackets. all smell
of years already worn. clothes dirty, uncomfortable,
they wear in safety, the layers of protection.
while they are embraced by
the humiliation’s luminence.
and two am flashlight police.