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Watching the Fire DieTo Sam Silva's next piece

A Less than Tragic Circumstance

There is no time. There is no need
For any youthful arrogance with which
the rich
and noble, learn to kill
or learn to bleed
in this city of cane smoke
and sooty island air.
There is no time nor season to be glowering
in an angry way at such parents
that one never had
…for a vagrant child
who lives and dies for sex and labor
among the more astutely good and bad
transcending meat and blood
…who drop coins
from their country homes
into a carnival of city mud.
And come the carnival, there is a drunkenness,
fiery drunkenness, consummate
with salted beef, and wild fermented honey, in its joy!
…for the poor who know no sorrow,
have nothing waiting for them
in that yesterday
and that tomorrow
which a man or woman
learns to pay for with his money.  The poor
are more like children
in their youth
than any rich and woeful
girl or boy who had come upon the essence
if his love…and all its wicked truth…

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