The dog park

baby face in blue suit
carrying a knapsack
approaches
dog and me
in the park
his smile shows innocent
white teeth that
have yet to choke on
a bone

seated comfortably on
a bench
turning a page of
Bukowski
who sings of a beautiful dead
swan
floating down
a gulley
in the Los Angeles suburbs

must squint my eyes while
looking up at the boy
whose shirt collar is too big
for his neck
and squeezed
by a tight blue knot

he smiles again
without gift of gab
asks if I have received
the message of
Jesus Christ

tempted
to reply I have
and killed him for it
but choke on my Jewish humor
turn my head instead
to see

a frail man in black fedora
toss a congregation of
pigeons
bread crumbs
from his deep pockets

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