Poem of the week: Central Square, Cambridge MA

The poem I was going to post this week didn’t work out. But this one did:

Central Square, Cambridge MA

Fridays at the office we’d crack beers
and bet on the living dead in Central Square.

Summer afternoons, ambo bench-scrapes ran five a day,
with longer odds for shoplifters in bracelets, unsubtle drug deals,
and badly choreographed street fights.

Evenings turned the square to silent film
scored with horn and siren. We’d name the stars
and make up lines, assign them tabloid scandals,

Find them, sometimes, in the stairwells
nodding out, smoking, reeking of piss and mouthwash
Our grim mockery and luck the only things
keeping the distance.

(They say you should never apologize in advance for a poem, so here’s my apology afterwards: It’s exaggerated and exploitative and the ending is a total cliche.)

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