Oakland

Raw
fish flesh
under scales,
we dine
on words
unfiltered.
There has been
a fire,
artwork ablaze,
friend of
a friend
inside.
One way in
and one
way out,
we swallow
the glass
with brine.
Once it has
been ordered,
all we can do
is drink.
Can you help,
the old Man says,
it’s the holidays,
and everyone
with pockets
turned inside
out has
nothing left
for the woman
who asks
for just one warm
cup of coffee,
too many corners,
with hands
that pray
for giving
and not enough
givers,
and the security
man says,
I can’t reach you,
one last time
before the walls
come tumbling
down.

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