Footsteps whispered
onto the wet sidewalks,
and sleeping front yards:
into the intense oblivion
of July,
or maybe it's August.

That sun is no good.
Baking my skin, slow
as an Easy-Bake Oven.

My carrion flesh,
cooking like gooey

I feel the smoke rising.
I almost lost a finger last week.
I have nine dollars left.

It's that American plague
pumping through my
bloodstream: blood-red,
Marlboro Light-White,
and exploded pen blue.