canary

by Stephen Clark Okawa


i’m in the ‘hood,
a white ghost
among black knights.

they have their own code.

i was loading my hoopty with cheap paintings.
when i go up the stairs
come back,
the trunk is empty.
my cheap crap is gone.
i tell leonard.
leonard says ,”that’s just the way it is,”
and he nods, like he’s seen it
‘bout a jillion times before.
he offered no condolences.
in fact, i was at fault
according to the code,
according to leonard’s dusty diamond eyes,
scruffy little gems
shining no more,
accepting the dust
as all eyes must
if you want to make it
in the ‘hood.

yes, leonard.
now i understand.
everything i know about the world
just got buried in a collapsed mineshaft.

there were no survivors.

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