Here a block of dilapidated tenements
stands square in the morning sun.
One cop says to the other,
“How could anyone live in
a shitty dump like this.”
From the eaves of one,
a pigeon drops to the ground,
sips from stagnant water.
One cop slurps another
mouthful of coffee.
A street over
stands an old mansion.
with enormous scrolled porches.
stained glass window trims,
even a rickety building out back
that used to be stables.
A “For Sale” sign
on its overgrown front lawn.
The other cop just shakes his head.
Most of the store fronts are shuttered.
Empty lots grasp trash to their bosoms.
The bar opens in the morning
and a few loyal subjects stagger in
A patrol car cruises up and down.
The cops have seen it all before.
Even before they saw it the first time.