Monday, April 2, 2018


Paul B. Janeczko 

In black leather jackets, 
watching Spider work 
the wire coat hanger 
into Mrs. Koops car, 
they remind me of crows 
huddled around a road kill. 
They looked up, 
then back 
as Spider, 
who nodded once, setting them free 
toward me. 
I bounded away, 
used a parking meter 
to whip me around the corner 
past Janelli's Market, 
the darkened Pine Street Grille, 
and the steamed windows 
of Sudsy's Modern Laundromat. 
I climbed-two at a time 
the granite steps 
of the Free Public Library 
and pushed back thick wooden doors 
as the pursuing pack stopped – 
sinners at the door of a church. 

From the corner table of the reference room 
I watched them 
head turning every time the door opened, 
until Spider arrived 
to draw them away. 
I waited, fingering hearts, 
initials carved into the table, 
grinning as I heard myself telling Raymond 
of my death-defying escape.