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Monday, October 28, 2013


by Rick Gray

I turned the corner of Bleecker and 7th
On my way to another dead end
And there rushed Lou
Shaded, frowning, all bad influence wrapped in black leather

And when he swept passed
Something knifed me somewhere soft
And I found myself fighting
To keep my burning eyes cool and down

Through the iron bars of a New York sewer
From which rose the voice of
His dark angel daring me
To keep walking all the way home

To kiss my mother’s crazy hand
And let it take another wild swing
not for more crying, but to learn to sing back at it,
bad and grinning, through the sting.

Rick Gray teaches in Kabul. He has work forthcoming in Salamander and the book, Neither Here Nor There: An Anthology of Reverse Culture Shock.