There are three liquor stores on my block
that keep the neighborhood well stocked
One bum is employed at taking out the trash
for the liquor store that displays
winning lottery numbers in its window.
They pay him in Natty Ice tall cans.
But most of them beg for change
They sleep on the sidewalks
after the booze has overwhelmed
their malnourished bodies.
The mounds of shit
and puddles of piss
do not upset them.
They've won the war against
the apparatus of assimilation.
None of them have assaulted me
when I walk by with a
box of wine in each hand.
Perhaps they lack confidence in
their ability to defeat anyone
in a physical confrontation.
Maybe they just don't want to put out the effort.
Sometimes when I'm feeling warm and drunk
I will give one a twenty dollar bill
when he asks for spare change.
It's the highlight of both our days.