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The Fire Escape


the men in the lobby sip weak coffee

out of white styrofoam cups, because it’s free.


in turn these cups choke out oceanic life

perhaps as soon as a week later.


these men eat tuna out of a can as long as the label says tuna

and not porpoise or zebra or eagle or Labrador retriever.


apathetic as zoo exhibits, they watch the game shows

on a flat-screen TV above the bogus hearth.


the men in the lobby, fresh from the fire escape,

claim to have quit smoking for good.