a tall and heavyset man feeds pigeons
in the asphalt parking lot across
the street from a church downtown. he’s old but
not decrepit. he sticks his thumb out at
a passing cyclist, as if to hitch
a ride. a few blocks away, an inmate
on the outs crosses a street against
the light. a waiting motorist guns his
engine. the motorist wears a white shirt
and a red necktie. a crystal given
him by an ex-girlfriend hangs from his
rear-view mirror. the inmate makes a
gesture, says, what’re you gonna do bitch,
run me over?
the motorist instantly
knows several truths he’s never wanted
to know. he knows them several times
over. the cyclist cycles past him where
he sits in his car, still at the light.
horns honk. pigeons fly, well-fed. he hit one
with his car once, a long time ago.

(Copyright 2023 by Tetman Callis.)

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