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out that door
back in the old
italian neighborhood
we were young boys with sticky hands
anxious to interrogate
the summer night
after supper we'd hurry
to the curb
sucking lemon ice and
wait for the streetlights to flicker
until finally they ignited
all in a row up and down the block
it was magic
as our necks tired
we would lie on our backs
in the street
fascinated as sand flies
and mosquitoes slowly collected
into a swarm of frantic dancers
about our magic lamp
occasionally a car would jerk
to a halt stopping just
a few feet from our bodies
we'd smile
never sensing the danger
as they'd drive slowly around us
honking and waving their arms
once a guy got out
and chased us
he caught you in the alley
and gave you a kick in the pants
i heard his cursing
as i ran up the back steps
in that door
safe and innocent
scratching an arm full of bites
lying low by the curtains
like a submarine below the surface
waiting for the coast to clear
Dan Sicoli is co-founder and co-editor of the Niagara Falls-based Slipstream Magazine and Press. He will read from his work in conjunction with the release of Slipstream No. 19 at 1 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Loft (above the Book Corner), 1801 Main St., Niagara Falls.

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