Hungry all day, scratching like a chicken
for something to eat. I used to buy three
pretzels for a quarter with my friend after
school, rub some of the salt off with my
forefinger and thumb, eat in the subway
car washing down dough with rumbling
noise. Senior year we almost got in trouble
for fighting in the hall, just fooling around,
punching each other on the arm
and we had to explain to the assistant
principal that we were friends, not fighting
for real and he sent us back to class.
My friend's father beat the crap out of him
though, until one day he punched back
and broke the bastard's nose, blood all over
the apartment and his sick mother screaming.
Once, in London, near Leicester Square, I saw
a guy lying in the street, blood and cops and glass.
In drizzle, city lights blurred to soft blues, greens
rubbing against gold. By that time of night,
my feet ached and I would have eaten almost anything.