The Block

The Block

It’s not true that you can’t see stars out here.
The block is a stage where we put on plays
starring triple threats everyday.

Multiple job-having, child-raising, lovemaking
barely old enough to see-n-say.
Even though bedtime has been dreaming for hours,

little boys and girls tap dance
profanity, pampers and paraphernalia
in the aftermath of a hydrant

someone’s absent father cracked open.
Dirty cherub faces smile through humidity.
chase lightning bugs, and pretend

what they heard was just fireworks.
Apparently the Bronx is still burning.
Built on the flea-ridden backs of dogs,

a landflll nestled into the monogrammed
pocketsquares of slumlords. Where fire
flies and depending on the closeness of your mother

to the Con-Ed guy, even the lights hated being,
and with good reason. Standing on fire
escapes, my neighbor’s voices CharlieChaplin

and watch shadows, ski masks and empty seats
in GED classes knock over the last street lamp on our block
where shattered glass & antifreeze prism asphalt

into obstacles and constellations.
Someone should clean up all that glass & oil
but there isn’t a parade or photo op anytime soon

and the Senator’s office moved several train stops away,
so why bother.


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