Tag Archives: life

What’s Downtown, Ahman?

“I’ve got to be downtown in an hour, Reggie.”

“What’s downtown in an hour?”

“My naturalization.”

“What the hell is that?”

“To be a real citizen here.”

“How did you manage that, Ahman?”

“They asked me a lot of questions.”

“Like history and Lincoln and all that?”

“Yes. And Washington.”

“Shit, Ahman. I don’t think you’re gonna make it downtown.”

“I can pick up the bus not far from here. The 198.”

“No, Ahman. I mean you’ll not be leaving here before we’re squared away.”

“What do you mean, Reg? I’m starting again now. It can be different.”

“Not for me my friend. Look at all these dirty mugs out here, Ahman. Look around. Stuck, Ahman. You can’t leave it behind so easy. Not here. You’re too deep, Ahman.”

“Can’t you help me, Reg? To get downtown one more time? To get out?”

“Afraid not, Ahman. Not this time.”


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Old-Growth Disease

You’re out there and you don’t think that anyone can see those things that you do when no one’s looking because you do them when no one’s looking but I can see you and I can see them.

When I pass you in the street and our eyes meet and we don’t exchange any words and you draw your shoulders in from the cold I can see those things that you do. It’s in the eyes.

They’re tired and sad and weak and they betray you.

They betray the roots setting in your soil and you should know that once they set they’ll grow inward and ensnare your heart faster than you thought was ever possible. They’ll tighten their grip like a dog’s jaws during a kill frenzy locked on the cat’s throat while the owner pleads and pleads with it to let go and the cat’s not dead yet but he looks it because he’s still.

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