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Calling It In, Regent Park

Bill Howell
From:   Porcupine Archery. Insomniac Press, 2009.


Eight shots in five seconds, rabid adrenaline smacks
back from the quadrangle across the street. You hit
the light switch, find 911 by touch. I get to the bedroom
curtain, spot the dark parka crumpled in the slush.

People edge around it, get on the payphones. You overhear
reports of the same calls I'm watching. At last the blats
and wails, slashing lights, wincing brakes: first uniforms
on their knees, probing for a pulse. In two days that bundle

will become a terse paragraph in a busy crime column:
Mario Rebelto Carmona, age 23. We'll hear at the corner
store he'd slip chocolate bars up his sleeves, the owner
ignoring him in the surveillance mirrors. A Family Court

judge will postpone a drug appearance by his kid brother
so everyone can make the funeral. Flowers left on the spot
will turn to mush in hours. And they'll find an unrelated
handgun on a nearby roof. Tonight his time being gets

lots of help lifting the stretcher. You're off the phone:
"They said: shot in the head." So it's an execution.
Standing in our unlit unit, staring down at the world:
shotguns, flak vests, barrier tape, rakes sifting the snow

for shell casings. Searching for evidence, if not sense.
The lights throb on as if they've got an all-night permit.
Everything loses heat. The ambulance crews rediscover
time, leave without sirens. That's when we know for sure.



Bill Howell's works copyright © to the author.


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