John W. McEwers
A Lonesome Walk Down High Street
To score, you need two things:
money is one
the other isn't important
In the corner alley a few men gather
'round a trash can, its inside glowing
orange from a newspaper fire.
Ash drifts from ten-floor buildings
and try as I might,
I can't keep from catching them on my tongue.
There are lights, but only some
and they are enough to show a path
down the sidewalk to a friend's house,
someone I reluctantly call friend.
inside a Victorian home, replete with candelabras
on every surface, every herringbone wood floor
all burning to the base, wax pooled and dried
in uneven clumps.
I see my friend waiting for me
he knew I would return
He holds out one hand
and says: 'Money...'
I place the cash in his palm
and take what he gives me
and the walk back
is false sunshine
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