Coping Mechanism

Two brothers moved here
from Michigan and started
a late-night BBQ bar on 14th
open until the buses stopped.

Then every night after hours
they carried folding chairs
and BB guns to the center
of a street lit alley.

The brothers waited for
the moment the rats
emerged for their nightly
commutes between houses.

Then pressurized pops
hissed like the sighs
of unscrewed jars from
their mother’s pantry.

The shots rebounded
off the bristled bodies
and set them scurrying
back to their crevices.

It lasted a month before
the police warned them
to stay at their bar at night
like two rats in a den..


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