words by Chuck Perrin

the streetlight glared at the dirty sidewalk
dried-out puke on the curb
air conditioners spit from fourth floor window ledges
down ancient chipped graffiti-covered brick
caked with grime
smell of piss round the corner in the alley
mixed with scents of stale smoke flat beer
& sour grease-coated garbage cans
nestled in the glass of broken liquor bottles & cigarette butts
crushed cardboard boxes

f i r s t I saw the tip of his lit snipe
he was sitting on an old ratty corn-colored couch cushion
propped up against the side of a dumpster
& as soon as he saw me notice him
he farted
& I laughed
“hey, hank . . .
where the fuck you been, man?”