The Parable of Sunlight

It's a rare sunny day,

but the streets are strangely quiet,

as if arrests have been made,

or are about to be.

Head down, heart bending,

I start across the square.

The fountain is dry, stained in dead leaves.

An old man, with the drab, diligent face

of a lifelong student of numbers,

scatters bread crumbs for the pigeons.

I pretend not to notice him—it's safer—and in seconds, reach the far side,

where bodies in the early stages of decay hang like gray rags from the trees.

I glance back at the old man.

He's watching me, and I wonder why

and whether tomorrow

is supposed to be just as nice as today.

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