Girls in the City

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We jumped off the train without a penny

to our name wearing torn jeans and a
few shirts we found in some trash.

Karen detests Jennie, feeling she’s too
good with her fancy suede jacket; she
grabbed it first.

Now, sitting side by side, shoulder
to shoulder, snuggling like some baby
to its Mama’s breast.

Leaning against some high rise building
burning those shirts in a tin can in the
alley to keep warm.

Karen, she’s going to leave us soon. Her
eye’s are moving back and forth because
she needs drugs. She won’t tell us; we know
she knows all about drugs.

She slipped me something once, and I
pretended to swallow it, stuck out my
tongue and wiggled it around – to prove I did.

Jennie waited – needed a reaction from me
so I wiggled my feet, tapped my fingers and
nodded to music; which wasn’t there.

“I like drug people,” Jennie said with her
drug smile. . .

We all slept from the heat of burning
shirts, in an alley near Broadway – it was
winter – no place else to stay.

Jennie never knew – I never used.

Right angles of light began to wake us
and people hurried along the sidewalk –
we had to move – soon.

“We are all going to be somebody someday.”
I told Karen and Jennie.
“Jennie, you will be a star on Broadway, and
Karen will design jeans or satin gowns.”

I never mentioned I was going to work
inside one of these cement buildings –
probably cleaning floors.

Karen, she complained about dreaming.
But, to hell with her – she can’t breathe
without a bad word from her mouth.

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