This straight street
Called Kingston Avenue,
Black asphalt at the center,
Curbed, where people strew
The wreckage of technology,
Meals half consumed, in foil,
Cardboard boxes, black bagged mysteries,
Fruit and crusts left to spoil,
Old furniture, a broken toy or two,
Is where I walk from work
Back to my subway stop.
Here, where strange odors lurk,
Smells of pizza, acrid smoke and shit
Mingle with concussions out of stylish noise
Shamming music, fashioned to split
Sense from sensibility,
I met the large brown dog,
Seemingly unowned and free.
A retriever. I smiled and said hello.
Seated, mouth agape, he smiled back at me.
I stopped and stroked his head.
He responded with civility
And took halting steps to follow.
I have no space in my life
For a dog. He detected my friendliness
Was well intentioned but hollow.
A large sore, unattended, festered in his side.
He stopped, sat, watched me go.
I felt guilty, frustrated,
Helpless as God at Sarajevo.