First it’s the pearls—little moons falling in the puddle
and the rain has made sure to make it just deep enough
for the muddy water to cover their shiny surface.
Then the gunshots—one,
echo through the alley and you’re certain someone will be standing
at the end of the dark pavement,
at least around a nearby corner,
and they’ll hear you, hear the gunshots again
Because you do.
It’s the blood you notice last—the muddy puddle
that’s slowly being fed by a red liquid you’ve only
seen one more time before,
and suddenly the bats return from the dark cave—you
have scared them.
Years after the pearls,
and the gunshots,
and the blood,
but not after pearls,
you realize the bat doesn’t symbolize your fear of
but it was the shape your parents’ blood took when a
J and a C painted their portraits.
At the end of the alley,
at the end of an alley,
at the end of many alleys
stands a masked man.
It does resemble you an awful lot.
— The End —