At Clark and Belmont

I lost something that night,
after the play where the gun
ground across the stage toward us
and stopped.
The final movement
in the final act
before the dim
and applause.

It never grew old,
a raunch comedy,
with raunch songs
of prisons, sluts and piss.
It was our fourth time
at the Annoyance Theater,
where we could smoke,
laugh, bring our own beer,
trip on acid, sit on pillows,
and laugh.

Trip walking home, a yellow cab backfired,
you ducked behind the mailbox,
Clark and Belmont,
"That ain't no backfire, dumbass.
Get down."

But I froze, paralyzed.
A boy screaming "Pendejo!"
through a hole in his thigh,
thrashed on the pavement,
tires screeched, pigeons jumped
to distant perches, and everyone
was running, running,
running away.

◄ Forgotten Sloop Dreams

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