for softer hues that accented her fair complexion.
She's three maybe four years old:
part-black, part-white, part-something
else. Hyperkinetic, ADD, up all day,
all night with her single mom.
Boy friend's doing time on a domestic beef,
receiving stolen goods, violating parole,
held over for trial, who knows when, while
mom entertains The Guests: teenaged
whores, foot soldiers running dope,
holding unregistered weapons: handguns,
assault rifles, semi-automatic arsenals....
All of them dodging The Man, Social Services,
rent collectors, eviction notices, Sheriff
deputies in Wild West hats: too bad they
don't work the early morning shift when
the house comes alive, party time for one
and all, using and abusing, police scanner
on high alert, they can go from one hundred
to zero in sixty seconds flat, though sometimes
they forget, aren't motivated, get hauled in
for a couple of nights on the city and then
they are all back on the street, open for business.
The only attention Destiny gets is when she
is misbehaving, so she's always into something:
dodging between parked cars, in and out of
traffic, forgetting to put on clothes/underwear,
she's already adept at flashing all of the boys;
at three, maybe four years old, her life might
not be over but it might as well be.
What Happened After Child Protection Service
Took Destiny Away
A woman needs love especially
when her man’s away, doing a six
pack for receiving, as in stolen goods,
probably woman’s clothes given
the three daily outfit changes she
makes, whether she needs to or not,
and her without so much as a part time
job. It wasn’t as if she put up a sign
that said: “Free Pussy” but there was no
doubt her idea of la vida loco meant,
“While the man’s away, the cat will play.”
A week into his sentence, traffic in and out
of her flat increased so much someone
suggested she invest in a revolving
door to save wear and tear on the old
one she currently had. The median age of
her victors seemed to decrease daily
to well below legal, both boys and girls,
middle school yearbooks on their nightstands
not even dusty yet. Word on the street,
by the boys wired on loosie blunts was,
you could score for a dime, half and half
for a double dime, and single sticks half
price with a trick. Everyone in town must
have known, even the cops, a fact that
was cramping the style of serious drug
action just up the block. It was an even
money bet as to who was going to bring
her down first: the local Crips or the heat.
The only certainty appeared to be that orange
was going to be her favorite apparel color
in near future despite her stated preference
Another March Monday in jukebox hell
and everyone in town is either studying
for Mid‑terms or else on major drugs
except for the eight people in the bar.
Who knows how they came to be here,
even money has it we're the only place
crazy enough to be open this late
on a going nowhere night.
It was quiet for awhile until the drunkest
of the girls discovers the CD player
jukebox monster on the way back from
The Ladies. What happened later was
kind of : Have a Guns and Roses New Year's.
I made a mental note to pour a pitcher
of Guinness down the back of the machine.
That stuff is worse than motor oil and
could kill any CD player made by man.
I'd even pay for the pitcher, I could get
nine dollars and fifty cents worth of
satisfaction watching some clowns lose it
when the dollar they invested in Pink Floyd
tunes turns out to be seventeen seconds
of singing and then black noise.
Maybe it was the seven Budweiser and
The Absolut pure martini I gave the beast
at the end of the bar that fueled what could
have been my own Apocalypse Now in a bar.
It went from totally dull Monday to all out
cold war in about three seconds.
There's nothing quite like staring at a monster
who was all Air Force Karate Champion
staring down a kid with a jacket that says
his name is Kevin and he's an instructor
in karate. I imagined trying to break up
that fight and saw myself lying in a pool
of blood waiting for someone to call both
the police and an ambulance, and knowing
neither would happen, but I tried anyway.
Luckily, the kid instructor had better
things to do than take on Air Force 1
like take his friend home and have a quiet beer.
The Beast assured me he'd never been stressed
out by being in The Nam:
I watched as he swallowed last call,
a localized world war in each direct hit
plus a six pack for the ditch that already
had cold bodies in it.