A flower born of flames. Into a world that cares not who he is, but instead what it is. A child born of despair. A world of hate awaits, salivating at the chance to embrace him within its venomous fangs. Falling asleep to the lullabies of the projects with hollow prison bricks. The ones with pissy hallways and plain-clothed smoke figures. Exhausted dreams escape into these walls to never be heard from again. The scattering sounds of cockroaches parading around in boxes of cereal. save-a-lot, price-right. The pitter-patters of rats drunken with nocturnal bravado. Under a bleak black sky, twilight shrouds. 

The end of a smoking barrel reverberates inside and through someone’s somebody. Devoid of life, it has ceased to exist and those that matter are sound asleep. Blood leaks, escaping through empty and profusely grungy sewers. Weaving through liters of empty nips and lost strands of hair, pavements of gum you could have stepped on, and human shit. The streets are wet from rivers of hushed tears cold as steel Urine. 

Barren plots of fire and brimstone occupied by crimes of necessity. A cry for help with churches and neon liquor stores on every corner. Abstained from any denomination because there is no god to be felt. Just the warmth of the holy spirits racing through your throat. No god to be felt when cold metal cuffs ingratiate themselves with your skin, and freedom is limp as you sit caged. The only faith is in the relief from a bottle. 

Hands for spare change and rigid alcohol breath. Ladies of the evening marauding glances with their lips and hips. She pauses, cigarette pulls, a puff, embers dancing- she remembers a youthful girl with ambitions bigger than her eyes. 

The hush of sirens drowns weary snores from yawning feet. Callouses and bunions from an inequitable broken system of justice. Breaking curfew to peer through barred windows. My tiny hands clasped around the frigid metal. I sit cautiously still on half of a secondhand bunk bed, the other half in my sisters’ room. These bumps of the nighttime void call to me. Blue and red air whizzed with the urgency of something evil. My eyes move left then right,  then left then right, frantically searching for an unknown. Or rather a face to give this thing we call night. See, night has a smell to it different from day. Something much more putrid and rancor. Something unforgettable. Something attractive.

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