Stained and Bloody Pavements

he scrubbed the blood off the pavement

with a stiff wire brush

soap scudding into greyish pink foam

in orange and silver stripes he stood

out. in. of the way

though kneeling as he was

paying homage with his knees

passersby looked down

down on him, down their noses, down on the world

someone who ought to remain (unseen).

tearing the nails off his fingers from the effort

he sweated to remove all traces

of another’s pain

regardless of his own

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