On Every Corner

August 29, 2014

I feel strange walking these streets,
with each footfall like a foreigner digging a hole
in a xenophobe’s lawn.
These sidewalks, these yards and gardens,
they belong to the rabbits.
Here, strolling through dawn,
swimming through the morning fog on my way to work,
yo veo los conejos pequeños lanzándose debajo las azaleas,
rushing to avoid the death that isn’t waiting for them.
The dogs have gone to doze by their humans’ feet,
and the hawks are asleep in their nests,
keeping tender eggs safe from the night.
The snakes are quiet, hiding under rocks,
waiting for the sun to bring them back to life,
while the cats are busy begging for food.
They bat the closed eyes of sleepers,
and chase the ghosts of mice in living rooms
when they are shoved off the beds.

The sweat slides down my temple as I round the corner onto Wilson.
It’s 5:11 AM, and the stubborn humidity is stuck at 92%,
with the needles of thermometers hovering around 80,
because the atmosphere won’r relent for a bit while the sun is away.
I’m running early, so I stop and sit on a rock wall to light a joint.
The lazy smoke curls and rises in the still air,
as if it didn’t get enough sleep.
It’s bluish-silver dance stains the sunrise
which paints the sky behind and above houses I’ll never be able to afford.
I want to sigh, but the realization that everything is fine takes my breath away.
The sprinkler system of the multi-million dollar home behind me turns on,
and with a shout I’m up, trudging onward towards another day
washing dishes for minimum wage.

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