The boys bunch in the dark, shift on threaded palm and stones,
a cigarette passes from one small hand to another,
a banding together of fingers around fire and ash -
affirmation of a tribal pact, rodent eyes veiled in smoke.
A voice calls. "Put that cigarette out!” They sulk, tilt on chairs,
cartwheel a dog-end into jasmine, snarl at the film,
then rise, faces caught in the flickering light, old and shuttered,
balanced on frail, birds’ cages. They are a feral pack leaving,
moving as one, a hunch of waves turning. In the street,
they straighten, lords of a famished kingdom, kicking cats.
More of my poetry can be read on http://www.odyssey.com, http://www.chanticleer-press.com/, http://www.vivimusmag.com/poetry.html