shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Brett Warren

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Someone has spray-painted the word DIE
on the pavement where the road snakes
through swaying reeds, away from the beach,
back toward town. The word is red.
I stand where he stood, imagining
the thin arms of a boy, his determined finger
on the nozzle, the nascent muscles of his back
and his perfect pink guts all knotted up.
It's as dark outside as it is in when he bends
forward, doubled over by this small crime,
the act of one too young to know
the word he chose is an empty threat.
Tomorrow the men from town will roll up
in their rattling, dripping truck, get out
their buckets and their long-handled rollers,
show him what to do with pain.