City of the Dead

The streets are labyrinth
and filled with blood, red

strings you could trace from one
shanty to another. In its tower,

you never see the bull;
you only hear its rabid

bellowing, its orders
not to maim but kill. You see

under a street lamp’s glow
dark sentinels pause

on motorbikes to check
the magazines of pistols.

Who can sleep in the heat
and humid darkness, knowing

the shapes of funeral birds dangle
from every doorknob, looking in?

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