That Hustle Cold

Sunset –
the little ghetto market,
westside parkway

Gotta get an early start
Set up shop so to speak
Greet more folks than the mayor

Trains don’t so much
echo in the distance,
they are the distance

Shake hands with
the shady,
shape-shifter

He drew his own tattoos
Musta been high as hell when he did it
cause they shake too

“Gotta catch the next one”
He says, eyes darting
He ‘Oh wells,’ and leaves his outline behind

* * *

Homeless
on the corner
selling roses for a buck

Buck shot
stuck in
the market door

They hand a dollar over
cause Christmas eve service
just let out

Little roses
wrapped in plastic
and sealed with a sticker

The market man
says to try somewhere,
anywhere else

He’s called the cops before
and for far less than
stray bullets in the door

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