Girls Leaning into Cars with an Alternative Gravity

There’s spit all over the pavement
like human confetti.

Girls leaning into cars
with an alternative gravity.

The push coins at the many peep shows
fed down into the slots
like never coming up for air.

And the cops making a bust
every few weeks so they can look busy
instead of customers.

The Rastafarians out front the head shop
with all the best weed.

Under those tri-coloured beanies
as though numerous street calculations
are going on.

The many fences of the city.
Able to move merchandise
within hours.

And I dry my face
like some tired-stubbled beast
just back from the red jugular
blood watering hole.

Spending the nights
on pull out couches
in darkened ping pong basements
north of the city.

All that paper
at the downtown Kinkos
like half the rainforest
fed into the copier
before the hungry predictability
of someone’s bagged

Army Surplus

What if war happens?
asked Steven
noticeably worried.

Then we’re centrally located,
with all the best stuff at all the best
prices, said Brad.

Just like the sign!
Steven pointed to the window.

Just like the sign,
Brad smiled.

What if there is no war?
asked Steven.

There is always a war,
said Brad.
Let’s just hope it finally leaves
the bedroom.

You want a war?
asked Steven.

Role play only accounts for 15%
of our overhead,
admitted Brad.
All that bedroom dress up is
fine and well, but a real war would
be nice.

Brad always wanted a war.

Steven looked down at all those
army boots on the floor.

How many of them do you think
saw action?

All of them,
said Brad.
Always tell the buyer
they are getting right into the action
without ever having to join
the fight.
Steven took an early lunch.
Something about mock chicken loaf
on white.

Thinking about all those thermal jackets
with the lining removed.
In the change rooms downstairs
that would not return themselves
to the many racks in all sizes.

They Cut Her Trees Down

The old lady that lived on the corner
of Axmith and Tokyo died.

First her fine manicured lawn grew unkempt.
Then they cut her trees down.

She loved those trees.
Four of them.
Trimmed and cleared brush
from under them.

All that remains is four protruding stumps.
The large one has a torn root structure
poking out from under the surface.

But no sign of life.
The lady is gone and her trees are too.

They will likely sell the house.
It looks so empty now.

Inside the Halls of the Scarborough Court of Justice

You know the law is serious
when it is applied from inside some Scarborough
strip mall that sells discount bingo daubers.

Some hourly suit has just got my guilty brother off
for his latest infraction.

My aging father left to foot the bill.
Introducing me to the lawyer
because I am his smart son.

The one he wants to become a lawyer.
Make money he can only imagine.

So he makes the introductions.
But his eldest son has never played ball.
In torn plaid like some forgotten lumberjack
with a recycled beer hangover.

It’s such an honour to shake hands with someone
who lies for a living,
I remember saying.

His handshake was really firm.
I remember that.
Never pulling away once.
Like he believed his own lies.

And after,
we had lunch
in the bar next door.

You shouldn’t have said that,
the eyes of my father said.

But he never said a word.
I stared right back.

Wondering why my father
would never stare at my brother,
like he shouldn’t have done
what he did which was the reason
any of us were there
to begin with.