Robert Leary (New London, Connecticut)
The rain growls on the roof,
starving, dog chew bones in the gutter.
All night the frightened trains gape
though the tunnels in my mind
eels heaving from a swollen corpse
the children count them from the bridge
all day the boats have passed this way
this man's been dead a long long time.
First rain they say for a hundred days
it washed the children from the park
the pups wet with mud and filth
their smiles alive with frightened grins…
The world opens up and they walk in
the pipes are lit the lights are low
a candle sings a lonely dance
and arms that reach and enable them
to prove that they were there
pull to refresh the frozen wind.
I have walked the evening, strayed
from an ambition to be warm,
walked the distant edge to check
the silent sharpness of an evening's tricks,
climbed the vines of vice,
tricked and have been tricked in every throw
of human dice.
I have lost forgotten and never won.
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