Friday, August 13, 2010

gun shots bust like nickel plated cherry blossoms

by David Smith

gun shots bust like nickel plated cherry blossoms

pulled from the waistband of low jeans

hidden in the sleeves of Richmond sweatshirts

blooming the shatter of auto glass explodes

with the impact of wayward chevrolets

at twenty third and rheem while

mothers fly from living rooms and bound

front steps to snatch babies from front yards

behind chain link and denial

dragging small arms of frightened

screams at mamas fearful urgency

overhead metal slams into the siding of old houses

burrowed amid termites and unrelenting detritus

of slow and persistent consumption

these streets are ruled by the warlords

whose law is vengeance like winter rain

driving hard dark and cold

into impotent neighborhoods

buried deep into weary rooftops

that cannot resist them nor repel them

but pay tribute with diverted eyes

and avoidance of darkened sidewalks

while disclaimed soldiers barter euphoria

and seek disrespect

among the homes of their enemies

classmates in the iron triangle

children run to school wary of the cars that slow

and pull to the curb and thump their skin

dark figures in dark spaces taunt them

and provoke scurry and furtive flight

into the arms of shit apostles

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