The man slips a gun into his waistband
because its cold embrace makes him feel
protected. In this country,
a few pieces of lead are more powerful
than words. (Not that the man can read anyways).
He watched his school disassembled brick
by brick. (Not that he learned anything anyways).
His teachers used class to sleep
and rumors say a boy, Jonny,
got jumped for opening a book.
Twelve people walked by before
calling the cops, who responded an hour late
because they were on lunch break.
The only math worth knowing
is that of the street: how much to buy,
the price to sell.
The probability of making it to supper depends
on judgements made
in the slice of a second and the block you walk.
The probability of supper depends on what you
are willing to give.
Everybody has a price.
Billboards advertise change
but the only thing that changes for him
In a country with so much
promise, the man is hidden in crevice,
pushed between cracks of the system,
where promises are scattered
glass on the streets he walks.
He is forced to gamble
with odds against him.