Broken Tail Light

A broken tail light patch of red tape and Plasticine
the side view blind spots caffeine phantoms in the
passing lane
running on bald retreads and a headful of
propane Zippos
receding into night like a hairline fracture
in a bad toupee
a racing form pockets a crumpled coat that hasn't been
slept in for days

makeshift mistakes and home-made heartaches
populate tough-break alleys in a let-down town
where stool pigeons in ratty suits fidget
with hot watches in digital time
peddling alibis on sneak streets of hoodwinked midgets
under neon signs stuttering in the sheen of
crankcase leakage
that rainbows the seepage of deceased clouds

gutter glass confettis a dog-eared bible of
forgotten battalions
hock shop medallion glints like a prophecy
that never comes
a tomcat waits by the butcher's back door
there's a punch-drunk cowpoke on the bunkhouse floor
laid off from a hatchet job by the stampede
that run wild at the check-out line on discount day
and was last seen stocking up on red tape and Plasticine