by Dan Senn

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See Performance Note.

In this neighborhood
the smell of spit
was everywhere.

The only thing
that took it away
were thunder storms
so large, and loud,
all the Baptos
would get saved

Or, snow storms
so strong, windy,
and deep,
the spit soaked soil
was entombed
like Chernobyl,
for weeks.

The briefest thaw,
the stench was back,
like late summer
cow piss
at Uncle Stan’s farm.

while tri-cy-kling
round this block,
at speeds
that parted my buzzcut,
matted my eyebrows,
I stuttered barefoot
to a dead stop

when the judge's kid
from ‘cross the street
stepped from behind
the old elm,
at 7th and Heil Hitler,
and pinned my little hands
to the bike handles
with cabbage breath
like the kraut freak he was
and started spitting
in my face
for three days,
and two nights,
as I wrenched
and screamed.
Ole lady Marone,
the local thief
of baseballs, softballs,
and badminton birdies,
watched blithely
from a darkened window.

Sixty-five years later,
on warm,
summer afternoons,
the spit
is still here
leaking memories
only migration
or death
can erase.

And so, I was pleased
to learn that this
judicial prick, progeny,
all growed up,
MAGA hat in hand,
was now feeble,
held hostage
in the same house
‘cross the street
by his smart assed dog

Spitting and torture
was number one
for men and boys
in those days.

the barber,
who gave me buzz cuts
for a quarter,
shaved these
whiskered spitters
at a shop
on north 3rd Street
by spittoons
with brown spew.

But for the aftershave,
Pinaud, straight from Paris,
the smell
mighta killed me.

After each buzz cut,
I’d race home,
at ear piercing speeds,
to rinse off
the binary bits
and smell
of tobacco juice.

DS 011119
ęDan Senn 2019


Performance Note:
Read like a news reader,
somewhat dramatically.

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