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A Hocked Sensibility About Life Near Largo

By Frankie Metro

2 blue flags
wave from the pockets of
a rotund prospect.

the possibility of Crpytdom.

it's easy to tote such banners here.
but something in his slouched frame
gives me the impression he is too uneasy with his surroundings.
an underdeveloped gang mentality.
he's riding solo
on a beach cruiser bicycle.
with no ridged scowl or hardened posture.

dreadlock'd twins carry cell phones and
small baggies dangling from the corners of their pockets,
looking to score a quick buck or 20 they follow my empty camo pack.

I check myself for an equalizer,
find a small composition book, a blue pen, red lighter, and one cigarette.

a thought occurs to me: smashing the lighter
at their feet would startle them long enough
to plant the pen in a jugular vein.

an even scrap,
mano y' pusher.

I slog slowly to American Cash or Pawn.
Largo PoPo pulls into the lot.
there's a warrant for me somewhere.
and with only this almost expired
KY i.d.
there's little chance of hiding,
but he sits there idle. I walk in.

"Can I help you?"
"Yea I wanna sell this."
the disc is clean, no scratches.
"Give you 5 bucks for it."
Pause. One more pack of smokes,
and one more bus pass for the week.
"Yea I'll take it."
and the pig strolls in with paperwork in hand looking for the whereabouts of a name.

Passing old hustlers on the way back.
Hovering 'round an ol' smoker and reclining long
in ol' lawn chairs.

and classic R&B RADIO.

leering, as the twins are at my back
cell phones leering at my pack.
I grip again my pen
but they change course as a Spanish hag crosses
the street with her purse strap clinched tight.

The last cigarette from the first pack
I smoke it to the butt,
taking in all the poison,
the smoke lilts through the breeze with little gasps of life.

the high noon sun and mosquitoes
wake for lunch.



About Frankie Metro

Three Cornflowers

By Stephen Schwegler

“I’m just going to powder my nose,” said Lesley.  “I’ll be right back.”

Lesley left the table and sauntered happily over to the restroom.  When she returned she noticed her date, Craig, had an insanely stupid look on his face.

“What it is?” asked Lesley.

“Nothing,” said Craig.

“No.  Seriously.  What?”

“I got you something.  I was going to wait until after dessert to give it to you, but if you want it now I guess that would be okay.”

“Aw, you didn’t need to get me anything.”

This was Lesley and Craig’s second date.  They had met a couple of weeks ago while attending a conference on hotel soap manufacturing in Baltimore.  As it turned out, they both lived in New Jersey and had an insatiable lust for miniature windmills. 

Craig reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out something small wrapped in tissue paper.  He opened it up and there sat a baby chick. 

“Chirp!” said the chick.


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