My Side of Town

I.
I live on the corner of Wise and Jolly Roads, couched into the Southwest side of Lansing, Michigan. In my estimation there aren’t too many people who are wise and jolly around here.

II.
The CVS down the street was robbed last night. The guy on the security camera looks like my neighbor a few houses away. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t him. I’m scared of that guy. He’s about eight feet tall and he walks like he can’t wait to kick some innocent fool in the nuts. Sometimes he cuts through my yard and peeks in the windows. I hide my laptop at night.

III.
The assistant principal at the middle school by Cedar Street blew his gasket last year and murdered his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend and brother at a Christmas party. I used to teach at that school. I actually went out for drinks with him and a couple other teachers a time or two. He seemed normal enough. Shit, was I wrong.

IV.
There’s a guy who rides by every sunset on a broken-down Schwinn with wire basket tied to it. He’s always yelling at the top of his lungs about how his woman wronged him, how he has no place to go if she’s gonna kick him out, and so on. We call him the Broken Record.

V.
There’s a haze over the neighborhood every year around the Fourth of July. Store bought fireworks from the market, illegals from Indiana, and homemade bombs blow out so much smoke that some of us here call it Baghdad 1991. We have to close the windows or risk lung damage, and we don’t have air conditioning.

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2 Comments

Filed under published work, short fiction

2 responses to “My Side of Town

  1. I’m curious why you categorized this as fiction. I can’t say why, but this just feels more like poetry to me, and one of your stronger poems to boot. It’s even better than your poem about the unemployment office.

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