Second and Broadway


I use to wait on 5th & Spring

In the urine & the needles

For the bus ride home

Between my first job

And my last suburb

With the women who clean

The buildings

With those working

The line between, like me.

Two stops up from the jail,

Men got on and announced

They just got out.


When we had cars

We parked four blocks away

And walked that walk

Between walk and run

Passed the trashcan fires on Julian

Because there were

Bands to see and beer to drink

And the man to tell fuck off

Yeah, we thought we were brave


Downtown

Mazed block after block

Bills on post no bills,

And excuse our dust,

Great things were coming.

Outdoor seating

Take in a $50 wine

And $20 burger and fries

Watch the roaches and the rats

Scurry on the curbs.


If a man wanted to take you

Downtown for dinner

You knew he was

A daddy made asshole.


Block by district block

Everything—historic

Police center beatified like a saint

Homeless encampments

Just in the Third Street tunnel.

The pupusa stand wiped out

Along with cheap Styrofoam coffee

Grand Central Market makeover

Millions to look authentic

The sirens and the homeless

Backdrop scenery so the rich

Can feel safety’s edge


Before the rent got raised

A moment between

Occupy and occupied.

They were out with batons

And quotes and artwalks

No one throws

Cocktails a flame into

Times Mirror Square.

No one riots anymore

And that’s not the square’s

Name now either.

There ain’t no OJ trial

We could hear them

Eight floors below us

Drunk and not in love

Talking excited to be in the city

Walking on well lit streets,

Like they were promised.


We didn’t even try to stay.

Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked