A Boy with A Gun in His Right Pocket

Image by Vinson Tan ( 楊 祖 武 ) from Pixabay
He’s got a gun in his right pocket

	or is he just glad to see his mom & pop he’s six years old & he already knows that it’s all just cops & robbers cowboys & Indians crips & bloods rivalries where red is just a color on grey sidewalks & body outlines are the graffiti of the day
Image by Victoria_Watercolor from Pixabay
He’s got a gun in his right pocket

	older than his age heavier than his soul longer than he’s been alive trained since he could see you tube & that time his mom & pop took him down to the corner bodega to sit in the street bleachers to watch the shootout between the latin kings & the black guerrillas as they battled over the rights to rob the bodega owned by refugees from north korea on the first of the month before welfare cashing time when the benjamins are lined up single file ready for their cue
He's got a gun in his right pocket

	& he knows how to use it since all those instructions were injected into his soul through his eyes & ears by cereal boxes & fighting videos & music videos & episodes of star wars & dungeons & dragons flooding the unsocial social media where the tick-tock-time is running out before you’re dead
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay
He’s only six years old with a gun in his right pocket 

         ready for his close-up the one where he holds that big ass cannon with both hands legs spread wide for balance his right eye focused down the barrel aiming for the heart of a people who are too busy working five jobs for rent money for the golden home in the sky that will never come while they drown in their own misery
Image by YasDO from Pixabay
He's a six year old boy with a gun in both his hands

	laughs as he pulls the trigger pressing harder than the wishes he wished at his sixth birthday party when he blew away those candles & this time he blows away his teacher back again the wall motherfucker because well he saw it on that new damn streaming service that his big brother siphoned off their next door neighbor who siphoned it off from the neighbor across the street ain’t technology grand

	and now the blood smears the blackboard wall & the cries of despair are not heard because no one believes this is real. 

The Long Walk Home

The following piece was originally written for a Creative Writing class at Long Beach City College and then reposted on Medium.com.

Photo by Antonio Ruiz
It was a simple parent rule: don’t run after fire trucks. In 1972 South Bronx, where fires were breaking out all over, and everyone swore that someone was burning it down, that was an impossible rule for 10-year old Joey and Mickey to obey. The pre-teens only saw adventure when they decided to run after Engine 50 and Ladder 20 through ten inches of winter snow on a late December afternoon. They lost the trucks as they hurtled over the 138th Street bridge into East Harlem, leaving the two wondering where the hell they were. Undaunted, they slogged over the bridge into East Harlem where, for two hours, they found themselves lost in circles while running a gauntlet of gangs chasing them, drunks, and junkies while desperately searching for a way back to the South Bronx. The pair were scared and depressed as they turned into a side street full of burned-out buildings and old cars buried in the blackening snow and saw the sign: 138th Street Bridge, The Bronx. Four hours after they had begun their lost adventure and tired, dirty, and hungry, Joey and Mickey cried with relief as they walked down a full moon shadowed 140th Street straight into the arms of their crying mothers and stern-faced fathers. Through falling tears, Joey and Mickey promised that they would never chase fire trucks again. The pair were so happy and relieved to be home with their parents that they didn’t notice their fathers tugging at their falling pants. If they had, they would have seen the leather belts in their hands behind their backs as they all made the last leg of their long walk home.
%d bloggers like this: