FOR CHAZARO - DEAR NEIGHBOR - (from stockpile)

Dear Neighbor,

it’s no wonder we drive spaceships and eat
inside caves around here. Yesterday, a teenager

confessed to seeing his first murder. Said
the car pulled up his block and smoked a dude

quicker than his Black & Mild. I don’t know
why he told me this, standing at the bus stop

but now I’m telling you. I took out
my earphones and told him I could hear

the gunshots in my neighborhood, too.
He paused, his lungs a giant comma

of smoke, before offering his blunt. I told him I quit
a long time ago. He nodded, took two

deep hits, asked what I was
listening to.

About the Author: Alan Chazaro is a public high school teacher pursuing his MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco. He is the current Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow and a graduate of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley. Recently, his work received an AWP Intro Journals award and appears or is forthcoming in Huizache, The Cortland Review, Borderlands, Iron Horse Review, Juked, and others.