Walked past an unconscious male
sprawled heavy on the clinic floor,
listless legs lying in the doorway
where his surprised knees had failed.
Plaid shirt ripped from his chest,
buttons scattered across the tiles,
wax face lumped around a mask:
a broken doll in cardiac arrest.
Middle-aged, except maybe not so
middleage after this cut-short day.
Medics shocked him, pumped him up,
but not to flesh that looked like life.
Raggedy Andy without the red yarn,
or a painted smile, or button eyes.


I yawn and wait behind the wheel;
watching immigrants cross mid-block
for marrow meals from market trash:
steel seared curses artfully slipped.
Christ, can’t they cross at the lights!
Seagulls menace a murder of crows
dredging the curb for burgers and fries.
Dodging wheels, they feed from fate.
And so for the gull who lags until last;
I watch the Express roll over his back.
Vainly commanding enfeebled wings,
cocks up his head, cries open his beak;
silently screams surprise at death,
learning too late that he was alive.

March, 2014


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