A Stroll Through the Neighborhood


A throat clear echoes down the sidewalk,
Squares out the corner
Where silence sleeps.

Pause near an opened window.
Why do wisps of white
Continue to billow out through the screen,
“That’s not from cigarettes.”
An appetite for suicide relies on melted plastic to fasten the noose.

Civil Rights rioted and clamored here.
But the budget found them less than affordable
So they marched along the carpet
Rolled out for blood
Just like the kind the privileged trailed.

Poor child won’t eat.
Father tells me,
“Salvation Army is full tonight.”
He steals newspapers from local hotels
Returns the headlines to neighboring gas stations-
Asking for refunds. “Freedom isn’t free.”

I tell him,
“We won’t die from starvation.”
His stomach grumbles,
“Oh yeah? Then what will kill us?”
“Just being human,” I reply like a promise kept.

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