Working Title

A
as in the time I was addressed after an evening of avenueing down the boulevard, minding my own scratch, knowing a simple whiff of anyone’s smoke was hazardous: to sniff up any ole tree—standing buck-kneed like a display on a fractured sidewalk of someone’s You ain’t from ‘round here’, smiling through a chipped-tooth depression with the root of its tree bark like a toothpick home in the crevice of incisor and canine—was not wise. More like an Ay,


B,
wasn’t that the cat eyein’ yo’ girl? or Ay, cuz, where you from?
because he noticed the red in my Cardinal’s


cap,
which would be coo’ if I were in a gang or chasing after a pop fly, but out here,
it’s either to live or


die
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