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Bright Bird

In the afternoons
I lie on my back
on the hot pavement and
watch the tomatoes die.

They die red with holes of pink,
they die with Frankenstein scars,
they die with cut-worms beating
translucent and plump 
when you pick the skin away 
from the bunion.

crickets scurry
like cockroaches or old men
late to an appointment 
in another time and place,
in two-toned suits with shoes
made of plastic.

I wish

for a bright bird
with a short beak,
or maybe just a song sung
sweetly by the neighbor girl
behind the alley.

The insides of the meth house
next door are squeezed
onto the lawn of yellow grass.
A vacuum with a full bag.
A mattress with stains and bugs.
Everything has more.

The men work in mirrored glasses.
They carry neon sports drinks. One plays
Spanish love songs and whistles a tune
no one can feel. Suddenly: a sneeze.

I run inside,
but leave my body there
on the pavement,
one wing out and one hidden,
for anyone to see.
Posted 10/16/20
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