Downtowns with tar paper flats, and river rats, and roses in the windows. That man walked backward and forward in his beggar’s feet, pitch white hair dragging at his neck, mumbling out from his rabbit skin jacket in July.
I knew a guy who knew a guy said he died up there with the windows painted shut. It’s been rented out again, the seal broken.
Downtowns pocked with bubble gum stains turned black against the walking shoot heavy sighs from laundromats toward bowling alleys with hard-burned neon. Boy-men pony up, talk shit and girls, light Camels off the backs of their brothers.
That girl, over there, can’t find her man and she’s afraid a cop is going to stop her walking home. The knife in her pocket is on loan.
Between here and there is a river vibrating with carp jumping at themselves, a heaving wallop attacking the dam that just keeps pushing them back down.
Downtowns move in some cities, but this one closed its doughnut delis and cleared out near the interstate. Nothing but a bus station, a pack of one-way streets, and cheap rent. Most of the proselytizers have gone by way of God.