Skinny speed walkers
sharing their last cigarette
down on Flat street
He sports a backwards baseball cap,
she’s trailing him down the cracked sidewalk
in her pajama bottoms but within sniffing distance.
To them, only one thing matters
“Said he’d be here by now.”
Some bright weight pulses from their chests.
It might be defiance, pure purpose, or no regret.
What would it be like to have all my
sweaty needs sharpened to a spike?
I can’t be sure
but I know this:
They seem more alive than
anyone else on the street, including me.
Then this January morning, a loose huddle
of thirty turkeys in the neighbor’s cornfield.
Off to the side a black vulture spreads
its wings and backs into the sun.