by Antonio Rios 

NOVEMBER 17, 2010

Clouds slowly rolled across the sky overhead.
A heavyset man sold hotdogs at the street corner.
Three young children played on a swing set.
The leaves fell from the trees steadily,
a soft snip when they broke free.

Two young boys walked around, laughing.
One had a smile of polished ivory,
the other kept his hidden.
Two men approached them.
Time froze.

The smell of gunpowder filled the air.


Dark evening sky with a
Full moon.
Faint light streaming up from
signs of stores and restaurants below.
The white of her smile.

Crunchy gravel beneath my palms
as I lean back.
Trains rumbling along nearby.
Cars floating by on the street.
The sound of her voice.

Cold September air at midnight.
A smell I’ve never known before,
The faint trace of her perfume.

The sights, the sounds, and smells
of Salem at night.
All of it overshadowed
by the woman in front of me.


I dreamed just several weeks ago.
I saw a man I did not know.
He turned to me and said, in English,
“I know how to treat her. She was always
psycho. You cannot help her.”

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