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  • Samuel Rucks


On the corner of Sixth,

the stars and sky turn simple,

white bits in a lot of black,

in the time it takes to look at them.

It’s hard work

forgetting your place in the solar system

just to listen in

on a conversation

where everyone involved

is tired, maybe hungry,

a little too nice,

—which is mean, where I’m from—

slipping a laugh in

every now-and-again

so they don’t have to listen

to their walking

or the traffic,

which is worse than listening to silence.

They aren’t friends, after all.

You can tell by their clothes,

and the distance between their breaths

taking shape in the cold air—

white crests,

themselves breaking apart,

giving the OPEN sign

in the restaurant window

its soft, almost-pink red.

Can’t I be the last one

to make footsteps on the snow?

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