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t h e   p a w n b r o k e r
  

:   m.  a.   l i t t l e r  


  video frame :
m. a. littler :

 

The ancient oak trees
Cast skeletal shadows
Across St. Francis cathedral
One can hear
The bell's ringing
And hidden within
The thorn bushes
The crickets
Are singing.
Beneath the pylons
The age-spotted pawnbroker
Sifts through the wreckage
And combs back
His bleached feathers.
He wears brass knuckles
A ruby ring
And picks
At dried blood
Stuck to the corner
Of his mouth.
If one looks at him
For too long
One is reminded
Of a syphilis ravaged
Vegas show girl
With wine-soaked teeth.
I remember asking him:
"How d'you live
Were you responsible for nothing
And no one?"
He glanced over
At a young girl
Watching
Her blond hair
Turn black.
"I don't know
But one thing
I do know
You always die
Too late
Or too soon."

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