he's pacing in and out
of the streetlight's yellow ring
by the time I arrive around the corner
behind the bar where ice is melting
in my unattended gin.
Yelling at life's unfair lessons
more than the foes before him
he rips a rag in half to cover his knuckles.
I've never said two words to the kid
prior to tonight, but I know him
since I've been him
so I know my words mean as little
as the fact that I'll walk him home
still shaking, adrenaline dumped
in our stomachs.
"Poetry East", Number 86 (Autumn 2015).