by: Jim Davis

All morning staring at the falcon perched on a leather glove.
Deliberate repositioning. Talons like muted shotgun triggers
in crisp Chicago winter. The Golden Nugget challenges
the Golden Apple to a battle of tight-eyed breakfast spots.
The Nugget—across from Nikos’ Gyros Stand, where Niko
employed Armando to slice the beef and lamb, Debbie to
sweep the floor, though she would be gone in summer, when
classes let out—offers 2 buttermilk pancakes, 2 extra-large eggs,
2 links of dry sausage and hash browns for $4.99 & a bottle
of wine, out the door. The Golden Apple, on the other hand,
is rumored to warm funnymen after they improvise second-
city assemblies—some big names, we’re told. Across the street,
St. Alphonsus’ Church, where he received communion,
admitted only forgivable sins, (he heard being mean to you sister
was worth the repetition of seven Hail Marys and one Our Father).
The Russian bell tower cathedrals have gone gray with time.
He scoffs at neglect, selfish dismissal of tennis shoes to the lamp line.
Repentance. The falcon drops for field mice & smaller birds. Coats
bled dry in bolls of what might be cotton. Repetition (sounds about
right) & repentance share the confines of oak chambers, polished
delivery. The bell tower’s narrow corridors, tiles from the revolution-
ary mosaics in red and white, fall. Repetition, repetition, we were
to meet at the Golden Apple or Nugget, repentance ringing
from garden apartments. We were to meet at the fractal edge
of summer and nonexistence. We are distracted by nighthawks
slicing though whatever it is we’ve said. After all the acoustic
guitars have been cracked and bled of string, the hawks settle in
the golden bliss of satiation, that bliss of what we’ve emptied and held.