Moadeep and Paul meet on Allara Street
or I wish I owned a Mateba Model 6 Unica

The ball rolls white black to pause
in five-AM’s clean sweep cement gutter.
Its rest is under the plated chops
of a one-eyed long-arm mule that
with stainless steaming tubes
pistoned in ferrotype
outta the pleiomorphic era.

Pitch-tanned boot stomps bitumen,
another’s kick licks chromium stand;
triumphant logo tilts-up all shiny
below twin tower rows
of custard-cup glow.

Side-arm secured to honest hip
Moadeep climbs from bike onto street.

A hawker squawks unintelligibly through walkie-talkie
then quacking ducks down an alley.

Moadeep looks north into anatidae artery,
leather creaking cartridge load.

You know it’s Moadeep ‘cause it says so
on a tag riding justified shirt-pocket,
the neon lit label
advises aiming.

Something growls the fowl lane,
flares Moadeep’s point three-fifty-seven
                                                   CRACK
from right triggered hammer
a Pope-round flies; vanishes into narrow crude-oil path,
recoil rolls drum-wheel.
Moadeep mugs tall for cameras.

But there are no cameras and that was no mallard in the lane,
no mallard,
and Moadeep loads a fresh silver shell.

Boxing the tarmac, flanking Moadeep
in lantern shaded avenue lines,
sit dueling soccer nets;
each at a T-intersection, each at an opposite end, each on Moadeep’s path.
Moadeep looks east to one, west to other.
then holsters his six-o’clock shooter.

Behind Moadeep is— Moadeep flinches— Moadeep turns—
it is Paul, Bela Farkas’ friend.

Paul has a badge too, with his name,
his left hand holds out
a Polaroid
within olde globe wash
and while identification hides forty thieves,
the digit pincered image dangling
is of Paul beside Mr. Farkas.
In the picture both smile, grip angling rods, wear flannel hats
with tiny feathers and barbed hooks and colour in the fabric,
together they hold a dead fish.

Paul speaks,
“Did you know
my friend
in this photo,
Bela Farkas,
is
(Paul’s index finger taps the grainy moment)
soon to be
homeless or
committed or
broke or
putting on a show
question mark”
Paul advises:
“You can follow updates
on the world wide web.”