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  • Tyler Bauer

thin line between

when all the parking meters blink expired

and traffic lights flash in a synchronized dance

of bright crimson lines

stretching through puddles cloudy with booze,

and stomach bile, and cigarette butts,

and soggy dollar scratch offs

in those same puddles that smell of spoiled milk

from busted up bottles of Olde English,

with bits of glass still stuck on labels

that won't let go

humans more like jagged silhouettes

lay there on slouched backs

shadowed faces and twisted jaws

underneath skin stretched so thin

that it’s bound to snap and vanish

right into another dark puddle

until the asphalt is sticky as tar

and chemical dependence

turns to reaction from another soul stuck

in lonely despair

the most dangerous gateway drug to exist.

but there’s a thin line between heaven and hell.

tall gates of iron have welded on initials and steel hinges

for people more like perennial flowers

that grow in rows free of weeds and locust

and always get to bloom with the colors of the season

orange and yellow and red in there

green and blue and pink in there

but the rest glows white in headlights at night

the single gilded address lines,

the last names, the street signs,

the letters on stop signs, and sides of police cruisers,

the expensive shoe logos and platinum blonde braids

they all shine white in the dark


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