The dream is dying;

The thrush proclaims it from the bony branches of the trees,

The old man looks up from his cart, briefly, before returning to his wares,

The young man stops, samples, moves along.

At the bank, a man in a dark suit deposits a check,

The clerk slips it into a drawer, bats his eye,

Remembers an old rhyme he once heard.

His grandfather played it on a blue guitar,

His voice breaking across the high notes like a bottle on the bow of a ship.

In a jazz club beatniks wait for recognition,

The smoke from their cigarettes dissipating around the light spheres.

One eyes a boy at the end of the bar;

Later he will lie beaten in an alleyway, broken,

Weeping for his aching groin.

In an apartment on the forty-third floor a young woman sits in her underwear,

Alone but for the cum stains on her sheets.

The scars on her forearms reprimand her touch,

Her leathery tongue fails to moisten her lips,

An unheard message from her mother waits on the machine:

Honey, I love you, please come home.

The troubadour closes his guitar case and counts his change:

$2.76. Enough for a fast-food burger,

And no gigs.

The dream is dying.