See the battle scars of life, not on my sleeve, but speading from my eyes, like veins of a leaf. With a voice wrecked and hoarse, I call out her name, she turns to look back, but doesn't do the same. I wipe through layers of grit on my sandpaper forehead, over there a man drops to the broken pavement and is left for dead. I carry suffering and loss, success and failure on my sloping shoulders. Young fillies pass by me hardly a glance for my sins, as if I were a halted breath lost in savage winds. Bodega merchants take my money, returning change with a nod of respect, while the resident regulars turn up their noses and sniff. The city neighborhood is alive with people on the verge of death. Metaphorically speaking, of course. These are the up-and-comers, the soon-to-be movers-and-shakers, the hyphenated privileged retreating to their condos just far enough from the maddening crowd that an ocassional car engine passing below is the most intrusion they'll deal with behind their locked steel doors. Tear these weathered and faded threads from off my back, let the poison rain wash off the wretched stank.
Alfred C. Martino
Updates from everyday life as seen by me