Alan R. Shapiro

2 B G H J S T

Between Assassinations

Old court. Old chain net hanging in frayed links from the rim,
the metal blackboard dented, darker where the ball
for over thirty years has kissed it, the blacktop buckling,
the white lines nearly worn away. Old common ground
where none of the black men warming up before the basket
will answer or even look in my direction when I ask

Happy Hour

The gregarious dark is shifting
when she puts her second drink,
the free one, half on the coaster.
The tipped wine poised at the brim
is the beginning of the bad girl
she’ ll promise never to be again
tomorrow, who can taunt him now
to prove he doesn’ t love her
and never could: her hand slides