Poem: 5th Street

5th Street

After art history,
the widow drove me
to my slum studio.

Its only north-facing window
overlooked the vacant lot
where I saw a shootout my first night there.

Barely 30,
they hadn’t suspected
her husband’s bad heart.

he had betrayed their now
backward-pointing future.

We hung there,
our hollow faces
reflecting the diagonal streetlight.

Kindness resembles love,
but I had to go to
my menial job.

She dropped me at the office,
where I discovered I was not on the schedule.
How could I make such a mistake?

I ran back into the parking lot
as her taillights disappeared into the night.
I walked back to my shamefaced studio in the dark.

Cutting through the vacant lot
where the shot man died next to his gun,
I decided to let it go.


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