• Kevin O'Keefe

At the trans-desperation center

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.




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