Tuesday, November 13, 2007

in memory of public drinking


Years later, you could not find
a public drinking fountain within city walls.
They had been outlawed and returned
to their natural habitats
of luxury gymnasiums and condo shipyards.

Pete’s brother? You remember the one
with the hairlip? Arnold’s his name
Public fountains were his livelihood,
the only way he could drink without dribbling

He was fined three years community service
for suckling on a neighbor’s lawn sprinkler
and is now confined to the bib,
to drool like an octogenarian
unable to close his own window all the way.

It’s said in the private scrap yards
behind dead eyed german shepards and razor wire
grey puddles collect in rusted white basins
the undrained pipes of former bubblers
crying their last cascade.

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