Birds reel overhead,
their dark punctuation departing
from the grammar
of rusted roofs— Street signs
point in the only
direction they know, until a wind
or some government decree
On the corner, the shoeshine boy
trades cards for comic books,
and the vegetable vendor is texting her son.
In the park where a man once whispered
Do not pretend you don’t know
what I want, highland girls string
strawflowers on cord.
The sweet, charred odor of roasted corn
precedes dusk: hour of reckoning,
hour of bitterness, of surrender.
In response to Via Negativa: Silent drunk.