School Night

The houses look like caved in faces
at the fruition of a fight.
Expensive dresses stand on their own
on every sidewalk and hold their cigarettes
between the fingers of their gloves
made out of silk, that are filled by nothing,
but still function at their best as almost arms.

Middle school kids eat fast food on the benches
where old women walk their rodent dogs.
One of them smears a line of ketchup across
his forehead as a way to fulfill the expectations
of the elderly, but they keep on walking by
afraid to notice.

The basin is full of knitted blankets that young
couples sit on feeling each other’s skin.
There is ultimately nothing that they are gathered
around and that’s the way they like it no excuses
not to see familiar faces. Everyone told lies
in living rooms organized to be boring
in order to get there and they wouldn’t waste
the night if it could kill them.

Two strangers sit on the roof of the tallest building
in town and can faintly see where all of this is happening,
but they tune it out and focus on the muscle cars that cruise
around a single downtown block at speeds that barely
even qualify as moving. I like the paint job on that one
they say in unison while passing the binoculars
and taking swigs of beer from generic plastic cups.

There’s a small party of skaters by the library stairs
and with a borrowed video camera they are trying
to get some semblance of a trick. On one attempt
the youngest knocks his teeth out on the rail
and through the mouthful he is laughing at the lens.

Helicopters in triangle formation cut the air above
them all into noise that felt like punches to the brain.
Their shadows were a darker rain that didn’t cover everything,
but moved across the landscape like a bug.
The base was at the edge of town where antique tanks lined
the space behind the razor wire fences, and when the air crafts
finally landed they were emptied of the cargo that they carried.

2 thoughts on “School Night

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