August Heat, Donna Pucciani, [2023:41]

Drops of blood
glistened on the apartment’s
marble steps, all the way down
from the sixth-floor walkup.

The red was glossy, carmine-still,
shining, barely clotted, each blob
a bloodshot eye looking up at me.
Descending that day,

I remember the urban lullaby
that sang me to sleep the night
before: shouts, the clink of
chains and broken glass,

the waking dream of gang
warfare above me on the roof,
then the descent of the wounded,
still alive but bleeding

the eternal blessing of the Bronx,
a mute celebration of vendetta
in a sleeping city, for those
whose eyes listen all night.

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