In the short hours of the morning,
the bled-out children unfurl
from their dressing drawers
and flutter over to the mirror
to fill themselves with smoke
and stone, taking care to mark
and meter their proportions
so as not to inspire attention.
The bums that sleep beneath
the bridge that gleams on tourist shirts
and college literary magazines
mutter names that no one else remembers
as the scabbing dogs beside them
lick their crusted fingers.
Above the Spanish moss that floats
above the bistros and the antique shops
like clouds engorged on chemical waste,
the wealthy pace their penthouse apartments,
playing with the Diazepam sitting on their tongue,
curling it, toying with the small fantasy
of living through the fear, for once.
The blood is still drying on the walls
from where he dashed his fists
against the brick.
The river freighter sings,
a great aluminum whale
as it floats out to sea.
The teacher really enjoyed this one!
the writing and blog of John Chrostek can now be found at john-chrostek.tumblr.com