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
uproots them.

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.

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