The Intersection of My Eyes and Yours

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The Intersection of My Eyes and Yours

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The glass is too shattered to read the label

and the newspapers too wet to unfold.  

Across the street from the schoolyard,

your worn out tennis shoe grazes a flattened

package of Kool cigarettes as you bend down to check

if anything’s left in the abandoned bottles of New

Amsterdam Pineapple and Corona.  

You like to jump on the manhole cover outlined in green  

spray-paint, making a clank-clank, thumping sound

which is almost in rhythm with my heart-beat.

The green paint-peeling fire hydrant watches

from across the gravel street.

Do you even know what green fire hydrants mean?

I do–enough water, but too many fires.

 

Look! “Two trees which grew together” but clearly,

they are growing apart.

You sip your Mello Mood and cast it away

like your 8th grade copy of Catcher in the Rye.

Peace, you think. Peace is stained in the center of the road.

Ironic that no one will ever know all the pieces

of your soul which the street has hidden

between the dying leaves and the pavement.

 

An open-doored helicopter flies above

and clearly sees the wild dogs approaching you.

The First Officer nudges the Captain as he wishes

to warn you. But a white man on the other side of town

is having a heart attack, so the helicopter departs.

You look for houses with only a storm-door

between you and safety.

Your mother told you yesterday

to take the sexual assaults rather than the dogs—

“They’ll rip you to shreds,”  

she says, “We’ve all survived the rapes.”  

“I’m brave,” you tell her. You face the dogs

as life itself trickles down your forehead

and whisper, “I’ll survive.”

 

A violet-painted stump offers refuge.

Rest! It calls from a forest of broken trees.

I ache to think you walk hand-in-hand with the darkness.

The letters C-O-F-F-I-N-S

have been carved into the outer layers of your spine

for all the ducklings in the river

to see. You turn to look back at the painted trees,

but we lock eyes and in that moment

our universes collide.