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A Dangerous Place

I left the dope and the booze behind.
The script was rewritten
from handshakes and smiles
to snakes in an alley:
coiled, patient, camoflaged:
the world is a dangerous place.
Forgotten men huddle in doorways
on a slippery unsaddled night.
Despair creeps in
like a hunter on the point,
and I am the sucrrying prey.

I have counted without effort
half the streetlights out.
As November with its jaundice withers
I hear the hiss and rattle near,
and I am the scurrying prey.

I left the dope and the booze behind.
And I scurry into shadows everywhere.

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