The woman begs to cover her husband’s body
with a blanket, but the police refuse—
Their daughter sits on the curb, wailing into her hands.
Someone will try to pull her away, say Shh; she will refuse.
A train whistle cuts through the rain. Leaves quiver and mix
with shadows in the alley— the only witnesses that won’t refuse.
Everyone else averts their eyes: the duck egg vendor, the drunk,
men out for a smoke; late night owls at the bar. All refuse.
Mid-October, near dawn. The pedicabs ghost away. Tinny rattle,
gravel spray. How many deaths as of today? The mind wants to refuse
these horrors. The MO’s like this: two masked men on a motorbike ride
up to their target. Shots ring out. Every day, bodies pile up like refuse.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.