Has sharp teeth

Little incisors

Black lips

Bright red gums

Roams the avenues

Lives at Wilshire

And Santa Monica

Sleeps in sewers  

Sleeps in fountains

And sinks

Is five years old

Could scare a goat

Could sever a hand

Ate a dead squirrel

Where no one could see

But they came for him

Stumbling out of bars

Pointed and ran

Turned their heads

Someone tried to kick him

Someone threw a rock

That crashed through a windshield

(They swear)

They wanted to help him

Surrounded him

As if to clear the street

Of the moving traffic

He barred his teeth

Nothing could be done

He couldn't hide

From the young boy

Clutching the phone

Who watched him sleep

In his mother's marigolds

He called the people

with the noose and the pole

Told them to hurry

His sister makes a sandwich

In the darkened kitchen

With silent disapproval

She removes the crust

Turns toward the stairs 

He asks her to stay