The Old Gang
One liners, curve balls, pithy comebacks, snappy go-aways, double entendres, onomatopoeia out the yin-yang, stringy alliterations, double negatives to knock your socks off, a big smile, always a big smile, and when the trap had been sprung, a huge grin. Russian roulette in the abstract, no more than three hollow-points per gun, why take unnecessary chances?
The old gang, street savvy, dying off like flies, one after the other, people moving back to town because it’s costing too much to fly back and forth for the wakes.
I was their unacknowledged resident poet, it would have been a serious breach of something to acknowledge such a thing, they put me together from spare parts, I was their Frankenstein monster, their pet project, they taught me how to jolt language into life, make it something that bled and if it wept did so without tears, taught me about the silence between words where the meaning lies, let me do what I had to do because even tho they never read a word of it and would never do such a thing themselves, they knew I had to do it, and that was the bottom line across the board, you did what you had to do, and you never talked about it.
It’s how we recognized each other.