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the empty

The fat girl as they call her, came to school with a hypodermic needle in her backpack. It may have been to defend herself, it may have been to instigate something. She comes from a broken home and this is her second or third school. E steers clear of her, and the bullies she tangles with. It was never understood  - how things began, who threw the first insult, the first punch, the first grabbed book but the end is a chronic cycle of violence. At one point, the girl's mother got the police involved and this was seen as offensive, a step too far. The police did not resolve anything so it was all just a lot of saber rattling. That is the most common sound here. The empty threat.

Last week, there was a sobrani, sort of a cross between a parent-teacher conference and a school meeting. I was busy, so E went by herself and took notes. Five minutes in she messaged me, that I was wise not to be there. Nothing about this girl was going to be resolved.
"Boys will be boys" was all …

Postcards from late summer

The ground in front of the bargain

wedding chapel is littered with

shiny plastic hearts and stars

and small coins. We

squat on the pavement

shoving them into

our pockets.


I bring my guitar home

and we play on the fire escape

you with your tiny, tiny

violin tucked under

your chin.

Me, playing songs from

an empty living room

before you were born

when I used to see

the towers

outside the dirty

glass of my

bachelor windows.


It’s time to buy

a watermelon now

not too big

and it needs to sound

like a drum.


They stopped

building the skyscraper

behind

our place. Maybe it’s

for offices,

maybe for homes.

A crane sits motionless above

the half-built

skeleton, in

a cloudy sky, a wet

night, a windy Sunday. But someone

had the idea to

inflate a great

red balloon inside the

structure

and put lights

inside it

so at night

it beats like a giant

heart, against the dark sky

a giant heart, counting

out the minutes

until the crane

will move, or maybe

until the

snow will come.


The leaves are already turning

yellow.



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