In this part of town, the peak leaf season has passed;
Trees barren, the angelic autumn color is gray as the
Twilight dims the ashcan pallor; brittle, the fallen
Crumble beneath the trodden.
Street level-minded, he views the scene from a distance;
A bridge, a metal drum barrel signals a gathering.
Closeup, the crackle-pop from the open fire foregrounds
His lusterless gun-shy look, not like way back when: the
Ante Squad, to this day, all imprisoned except he, left in
The cold, soon coming. SNAP!
Childhood s'more visions shadow the ember wisp smoke trail.
He crumples a candy wrapper into his balled fist; a chocolaty
Toffee is chewed with the hope of sweetening his bitter dreams
As he sleeps, less brood the contrivance, or at the very least
Sharpen the ability to wallow in awareness as he rests.
Conked out--he is startled by a halogen beam through his eyelids
Unwillingly pried open; a sharp pain obliterates his cognition.
In a bedside manner, white, blue and green fabrics float above
Body; garbled jibber reverberate echoing radial temporal fractured
Ocular nomenclature; he could discern a curtain partially drawn,
Which blocked half a flatscreen; the channels were flipped remotely
By a silhouette; a vibe verified an advertisement, something
Adequacy of abandoned standards he interpreted as the approved
Message that was endorsed eternally.
A concussed mood swing nausea--he gasped, gurgled globulous
Sputum; minutes, hours, days later(?), he wondered whereabouts,
The curtain was drawn back; the accompanying bed was vacant;
However, a mustached fellow with an awkward smile and a puzzling
Brow sat in a chair beside him; the stranger, who held a folded
Newspaper in one hand, a pencil in the other, asked,
"What's a Poe-boy's corvine response to 'not any more'?
Letters;" the orderly anachronism pointed at the blank
The micro-aggression accented the cross word uttered: three
Consonants and a vowel, which was followed by a ravenous
Phonetic, a spasmodic sound of an abbreviated unsatisfactory
That was that; knowing the telltale exploit for [the] passage,
Leader upped the ante; discharged from the hospital, he wandered
Hapless and seizure-prone--a state of grace to return, never.