Humboldt Park Symphony

The rain signals the intermission

Not long enough to wipe the slate clean

It won’t reset the clock.

Then wet brakes whining  on Augusta chime us back to our seats

Latin beats surf the humidity

carrying joy and warning

pitbulls too hot to bark, grumble in the cheap seats

A beat car chirps at PR’s double parked on california

ah go fuck yourself  

shattered glass

pounding on the back door




squealing tires

snapping fire crackers

cans tumble in the alley

teenage girls catawall

and cats squawk

a baby screeches

bats shrill

boys bikes tick a tick

bases bump

bald tires splash in the alley

water from the broken gutter

tocks against my wall

engines rev

and a question lilts


gangbangers whistle


men yelling


chest thumping

3 staccato cracks on Iowa


running feet.

Sirens wail

a final duet

with the human now screaming on the ground.

The curtain calls

but no one is left to take a bow.

In the morning light

birds sing

church bells call the blind and faithful

and I hear the whisking of a soapy brush            

the old Russian scrubs the sidewalk clean

and blood runs brown into the gutter

clearing the stage for tonight’s repeat performance.

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