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A Walk in a Dark Place

by John Kent
Life in the battle zone....

From the walls without substance,
the crumbled ash of brick,
the back alleys, walkways
littered with the jagged glass
of blackened windows,
the concrete blasted into grotesque
formations, the young men
prowl for their prey;
big cats, they pick their way;
up the shattered steps, they pause
before the doorless arch,
warily feeling the pull
of three small barely clad young women,
weaving their enticements
in the listless monotone of endless

Joe, you want good time?
I give you veddy good time...
two dolla please.

The young men urgently called
by repressed desires released
from battle; roam this city struck down
by flame, smoke, mechanized arsenals...
roaming...for a day.
Through the arch, into the half-light
of young dark-eyed women
exposing their flesh, sensuous movements
forced by the need for bread...the bill paid in advance,
the merchandise offered up on the sagging
wrought iron altar of loveless gratification.

C'mon Joe! Let's go!
You pay short time.
You take long time,
you pay more!

Feeling the soft curves of femininity,
hardened by the weight of repeated heavings,
the young men, in their frenzied thrusts,
blinded to the blank stares,
the robotical, rehearsed groans,
born of repetition and concealed loathing,
climbing their false peaks of ecstasy,
plummeting into shoals of emptiness,
the vague stabs of disgust;
walk through the doorless arch,
skirt around the crumbled brick,
the barren shells of buildings,
deformed alleyways;
the sun warming critical wounds,
the young men don't see it, don't feel it...
they have lived too long,
like the women....in a dark place.

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Copyright © 1999 by John Kent. All rights reserved.