Beasts of This City

Beasts of This City
by brian phó
along decrepit streets of this city
I dodge vulgar orange barrels
with innate dexterity
I maneuver and traverse with finesse
and I
for the reds to go green.
I brave the sun and heat
the whole state of Texas
with a radio, FM – with a cassette tape jammed.
I sit and I sweat
and accept my car has
a drinking problem worse
than mine.
22 gallons
routinely filled
2.25 tons of exquisite Detroit steel.
on the highway
I float monolithic
on a cloud of 1973
of rapists, murderers
and children ill-conceived.
I veer to the corner-store
where she loiters and promenades
-with mating feathers
young, vibrant from the road
I pull in and dock the beast.
the garb:
jumbo sunglasses to bury scars.
head bowed to glance askance.
the short summer dress is cheap
but shows off the legs
-they are not bad legs.
her skin is white and irregular
but nothing glistens
and junkies wear shame somewhere.
she asks for a cigarette, and loves my hair.
I reach for the open pack of Reds – the stale chokers
age unknown.
the beggars, prostitutes
have no selective right
I have a pair, two of a kind
both devoid of purity.
I give her the pack
go in for a beverage
never to be seen again.
I feel her sadness
somewhere she is fornicating
coughing on stale kisses.

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