A Lesser Evil


Sam, street gang leader at seventeen. His turf,
the highest rung in the neighborhood’s hierarchy of blues:
Wants to own us all. Wants to have feet
touching air with invisible rivulets of blood.
His neck–a barnacle, a pulsing jugular of hunger,
an easy target for a seven-year old with a switchblade,
a seven-year old who shrieks to be let in,
who will someday become sand, eyes, love, grave.

Kristine Ong Muslim
This piece has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize.