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The Day of the Plywood


I take the dog for a walk

but he’s too old and stiff

so I gather him in my arms

and take myself for a walk,

one hand forming the tray

he likes to rest his front paws

on, the other cradling

his threadbare Dachshund chest

as I survey last night’s damage

to the Gansevoort meat

market, excuse me —

we’re supposed to call it

the “meatpacking district.”

This week’s fashion: sheets

of plywood. This week’s

new sound: screw

guns. Crews of laborers

on every block speaking

languages of the less lucky

nations of our globe paid

day wages to protect

Helmut Lang and Christian

Louboutin and their three

hundred dollar hoodies,

eight hundred dollar shoes.

The dog has no meat left

on him. Through his ribs

I feel the labor of his

murmuring heart, trying

to keep one beat ahead

of the blood leaking out.

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