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Sep 15

A Rough Life on Four Legs

by J. Claudius Cloyd

On the block over from the pioneer square
just opposite the meyer and franks sit
the gutter punks
and their dogs.

It’s the dogs that get me. I know I should
feel bad for the kids
but that’s not why I give them a few bucks.

They sit in the shade obediently. The leash
is slack. Only a few feet away are the
food carts.

Autumn is halfway through. And
MEAT AND RICE AND BEANS NOT HERE OVER THERE

Their bellies are gone and their
tongues are tired

MEAT AND RICE AND BEANS NOT HERE OVER THERE

Some guy gives you a brochure
about the GOOD NEWS
and keeps walking.

They sit there as if they know all
about it
but how could they with all that
MEAT AND RICE AND BEANS NOT HERE OVER THERE

I don’t see jesus
descending from the heavens
with a can
of ALPO

all

I see are the nicotine stained
fingers of children
holding tight to
a leash

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