In Brooklyn boys draw out their fears and pent-up rage

In chalk strike zones on the brick-wall side of the school

With choose-up sides stick-ball

If you’re good the ball went a mile

And got lost in every street sewer

That Spaldeen rubber ball you would die for

With an unscrewed mop-handle for a bat whipping that ball into high-five gear

For anyone to find and chase with the rush to win stronger with encroaching darkness

Sometimes they got severed in half by the wicked tornado-punch of that broom-handle

Sometimes it doubled as a weapon


Out in the fenced School-yard you run around the Rule’s edge

You force your tough self into a secret display so everyone knows

Sweating and dodging cracked concrete tree roots clawing and climbing

Out of the ground lifting and deformed unable to be contained

Every move happens inside a chain=link frame of reference

Out of earshot with bare-rim basketball hoops and faded paint on the key

Joining the dimming yearn of street sirens screaming along with Dad’s whistle call

Just then the on- the-lawn bare-knuckle street fights own the block

Pinned to the rocky dirt neighbors cheering and scolding

The cement stoop in dusk’s waning heat as the fire hydrant’s angry gush rips blood-water

Into open car windows soaking dashboard stereos

Siphoning every bit of black-smoke rage from the Chevy Nova

Banging maestro arias out of the Godfather-theme car-horn

As everyone runs not knowing if its after another ball lost a whole block down two-way Benson Avenue

Or if soaking-wet Vito is gonna dole out beatings until the crushed red velour interior dries in the humid night


There is always night hockey on roller skates with car-door bumpers on both sides of the street

High speed skaters body checks in a world of no-rules chance

Someone always needs to lay down the unwritten with a blind-side reminder

Colliding in the reckless Corridors against steel doors that give-in and bend

More than the oily asphalt street coated with road rash and sweat.


Soon clueless moms beckon with droppers of love

And dinners are saved on foil-wrapped plates as the sun officially bows out

Nobody wants to go in no one is done everyone is just getting started

And the humid still air hums thick around the street lamps in the dark glow

As these boys hug each other with respect out in the open one step closer