Douglas Cole
In those days

we had no money and lived in a crappy apartment
with walls so thin you could hear the neighbor snoring.
I hocked a pair of family daggers,
a chess set my grandfather carved out of whale bone,
and we bought enough rice and beans to get through July.
With Mad Mary dancing on the deck
and skin-head Rob on the stairs cracking his bull whip,
I knew we had entered a particle accelerator of lives—
And when the fires came, we found other rooms
in which to sleep to play to drink and seek oblivion.
Now, the next wave passing, we are old photographs
found in a dresser drawer some new tenant takes to the trash,
not knowing that a glance at the eyes fading into gray
sets another kaleidoscope of days in motion
through which we dance miraculously.


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