Dogs 2006

AVERTED EYES
(12/17/06)


it was a game
that he liked
to play
somewhere between
the drunken
and hungover states
that polarized
his existence

he would walk
downtown at lunchtime
the heart of business
of this busy city
elbowing
his unemployed way
through the rushing crowd
and back again
daring anyone
to meet his eyes
or stand their
ground

no one
ever did
they were
empty suits
and dresses
of respectability
secretly ashamed
of their exposed
deceptions

one day
as he neared
the revolving doors
of a bank building
a small
but spectacular woman
emerged directly
in his path
she looked up at him
and smiled

"how y'all doing
today?"

it was more
an understated challenge
than a greeting

he looked away
for the first time
muttered
to the ground
in confusion
and turned
in his tracks

after that
he found
an empty park
to pass the middle
of his days
staring down
any squirrel
who dared
to look