Friday, February 11, 2011

The Projects


beyond the fence was off-limits
even for those dubious adults
who protected us like mafioso
lay in ambush outdoors
in the concrete broken courtyard
where afternoons we played
poker for blowjobs and prison-time
in puberty bounced basketballs
threw baseballs through winter
and tortured who'd allow it
all summer like infections
attract flies and mosquitoes
in sunlight too good to be

Random, too strong to burn out.
They all had their problems, time
For making the rent and meals,

Greasing the wheels, their parents
Even more lost than they found it
All out of control. Doomed each

Second to its mood we carried on
Sailing the manic, seesaw waves
While the world beyond our doors

Made no effort to mend its days,
Saying what for us was always true—
You tread on me, or I tread on you.

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