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What became of us by W. Wessels
published in Volume 10, Issue 1 on June 1st, 2003

We walked the luckless streets through a strange city
desperately searching for work in old ugly buildings
blankfaced offices stared back at us
scared secretaries tuned sharply to the comfort of smooth featureless phones
wished us away
static voices promised distant money when we left.
By noon John's feet were killing him
his cheap shoes surrendered to smaller steps
we slowed down and ceased to joke about the borrowed suits
our tired reflections scattered across countless blind shop windows
I judged the few Stuyvesants in a crumpled pack
weighed the change in my pocket
traffic lights blinked nervously moments before rush hour descended
we couldn't cross when the demon dark angel man cornered us
in a
brilliant move
cars pushing home
blocked our escape
left us with
no excuse
when he held out his hand
I stepped back said fuck off
sensing heavy wings under a black coat
two coarse growths beneath peroxided hair
but he liked the jinglejangle of my coins too much
and still persists those streets
a ghostly reminder
of luckless ones like us

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