Step over


People stepped over the body

thinking he was just sleeping it off

     (whatever it was)

until he’d been there for days

and stinking worse than the neighborhood.


That’s when they called the cops.

Not 911.

They figured he didn’t deserve rescue.

But if he could only be moved.

Besides, the crows had been taking a

long and interested look at his corpse.

Hot day.

Everything smelled like piss.

Exposed innards was the last thing

folks wanted to see from their windows.

He was loaded onto a stretcher,

dumped in the back of a van.

No scene of a crime.

No yellow tape.

No outline drawing of the corpse

out there on the sidewalk

outside the adult bookstore.

People stepped over where he’d fallen

as if he’d never been there.

It was their turn to sleep it off.


By John Grey


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