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They come and go
One at a time, one at a time
Splashing through puddles
Of water
Treading through smoke
From manholes
One at a time, one at a time

Birds chirp in the sky,
Swooping clouds of
Shadowed masses that
Only get shot down and
Fall, like leaden dregs
One in a million, billion, trillion
An Icarus, among many more

Horns honk like war cries,
A million skirmishes
The streets a battlefield
The lights a Rubicon
They are no Julius Caesar

The smog swoons
Inflates and swells from
Tempered excitement, hiding
Above me, the animated universe
In my dull eyes, the winking stars
Around me, the blaring city lights
In me, a void of nothing

Worthless is my existence, for
I am he who watches from afar
Never moving, never speaking
A statue of Medusa
Charmed into stone
At my own behest

It is a series of deaths
Not of life but of passion
Most die twice
Some die more
A few never do
Lucky bastards

Over the trench and under
Marching on twig legs
Of hollowed bones
Ignorant of the great hunter
Cocking its gun and shooting
Sometimes landing a mark
On an unfortunate fledgling

Another dreg plummets
Another star dims
Without a gun of their own
They are no hunter

But still, they come and go
One at a time, one at a time
Incessant in their pace
Like bullets but breathing
Gliding through the air
Their wings serrated knives
Until the hunter shoots

Oh, to be the lively bird
Ephemeral in graceful flight
To be the dead bird
Staring blankly forevermore
To be the caged bird
Neither living nor dead
Watching as they come and go
One at a time, one at a time

The city that never sleeps
The bird that never lands
They come and go
One at a time, one at a time
Passing through rain, snow, and hail
Braving through the battlefront
Centurions in their own right

While I, the caged bird, watch
As they come and go
They come and go
And come and go
One at a time

About Author

Gina Kotinek

Gina Kotinek is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the SPOT Lit. She is interested in social issues and enjoys implementing them into her writing in hopes that her message will be heard.