Tough Guy

Ace is the leader

A big boy in his twenties


Pouty mouth

Cheeks so red

Sly little steely eyes

Ace of spades on his right bicep

Inky-black octopus on his left


Car circling the park

Nobody’s watching

Popping noise like a firecracker

Ace screams and claps his hand to his eye


Buddies just freeze

Staring at Ace not knowing what to do

Scattering like pigeons

Ace is left alone


Blood running down his chest

Friends are scared following along

Don’t touch me!

Cops stop him

Dazed and ashamed

Friends have disappeared

Can’t get his breath


Way you’d talk to a small child or an animal

Can’t hold still

He’s crazy with fear

O God O God O God

He knows he’s going to die

Pain, pain throbbing and pounding everywhere

Orderlies hold him down


Death creeping up his feet

And he dies; it’s that easy

But there’s a feeling to him he isn’t real

People staring at him like he’s a freak

Stands sullen and quiet thinking his own thoughts

Hides how he feels

Ace stops laughing

You don’t know shit


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