The street was empty, except for time. The car straight out of the sixties with its soft, rounded face, before it caved under societal pressure to be all sleek and hard edges. The white oak tree that towers over Miss T’s restaurant, as old as she is, which is to say we don’t know how old. The drumbeat echo of hundreds of synchronized feet pounding the frustrations of oppression and demands of freedom into the pavement, so determined that there are still potholes there that no one can fix. I watched a man get shot between the fourth and the fifth tree on the right hand side. I think his only crime was being a man who stood between the fourth and fifth tree on the right hand side of Bluebird street on a Tuesday night. A crime we all commit—a crime of circumstance. Circumstance brought a woman here forty-five years ago with a bundle of blankets that didn’t feel like her own. She laid me at the roots of the seventh tree or the thirteenth. It depends what moral you want out of the story. I tell you all this because my blood is baked into that sidewalk through sun and wind and time and relentless pound of foot upon foot on pavement. If it has my blood, it’s a part of me. The striped white lines of a crossing, a piano I played day after day. Jesus, do you hear that sweet music? Bluebird street singing in the dead of night. And she flies and flies and flies, too close to the sun sometimes, but she never burns.
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