He’s got chrome for teeth.
Hair slicked back like midnight rain.
Eyebrows thin as razors, like the blade
in his pocket and sin at the side;
a gold chain with a cross
signals belief without a past.
His eyes speak protection. An army
of force settles in his fists. From the corner
he searches sidewalks and open car
windows for faces of weakness and
cash he is owed.
The youth in his muscles the strength
in his voice, the past failed at gaining,
marking a loss. His smugness a mask,
from the links he forged on the corner