Fading Frisco Tattoo

I remember them guys
I grew up
With

They ran fast
But they didn’t
Run from nobody

I was afraid of
Some of them
Guys

I ran from
Them but they
Could always catch
Me

I didn’t get
My ass kicked
Too much

Luckily my father
Taught me how
To box and I became
A master at ducking

And those guys
Were confident
(or seemed to be)
And the only time I
Felt like them was
In my dreams

And those guys
Had names like
Xavier
Darrell
Andre
Bobby
George
Jorge
Jimmy
Eddy
Ray
David
Herman

And those names
Are tattooed
In my mind

And those guys
Walk around now
With the word Frisco
Tattooed on their arms,
Necks, abdomens

And some of those
Guys are bus drivers
With name tags and
Some are employed or
Unemployed anonymously

And most are
No longer in the
City because of evictions
Or are living in cheap hotels
Or on the street

Many ain’t doin’
Too well,
Just hanging in there

The smell of the
City is in their skin
And it ain’t never gonna
Come off, so they stay

And I still see
Them guys in my
Dreams with their
Fading tattoos

And I run after
Them guys I grew
Up with, dark night
After dark night

And I can’t
Catch
Them

© 2014 Tony Robles

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