Like locus they arrive
In waves
To feast on their fill
Of the deadliest fried
Delights. Lips smack happily
Streaked with grease as
Idle chatter pushes
Through the mouthfuls

Some come for the
‘Best Shoeshine in Nashville!’
Razor-lipped businessmen sit
In stoney silence while
Black hands buffer and
Black mouths speak only
To each other

The walls are weary they
Bear the burden of
Obscene art that nobody
Will buy

The Russian-owned gallery
Is the most American of
Them all. Hers is a practice
Of bloated pride. She of
Ruble-less origin now
Hawks her pedestrian
Vision with
The best of them!

All of this where
Hanged men once twitched
And kicked as the
Last bit of life
Leaked out

Their spirits evicted
Divorced from the corpse
Whose swollen tongues
Played peek-a-boo
With passer bys

What a span we’ve traversed
In a century’s time!


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