The Rocky Road of equality is nowhere to be found.Empty vanilla. The flavor of hollowness. You spilled something on your mask, he tells me. Tired of that joke. Weary. So weary of jokes. *** Finally. There is good work ahead. A woman ducks into the alleyway behind a laundromat, her child in tow. A man follows. There is sex and anger in his walk. There is violence in his stance. Probably the sick lust of a murderer in his wallet. I follow too. The cold stab of justice is my only identification, and swift retribution is my only credit card. Punches are my dollar bills and quarters are my kicks. Pennies are like... pokes to the eyes. Money analogies getting out of control. I abandon them like a teenage whore leaving her baby on the stoop of a stranger. Crying. Alone. It waits in the cold, yearning for its caretaker but this city is no mother. It is a strange aunt, surrounded by cats. It is ill equipped for a child. It feeds the child nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Poor nutrition in that diet. Child analogies also getting out of control. Realize I have been standing here for 15 minutes thinking about pocket change and cats. Woman is long dead. Man is gone. I leave the boy a nickel. He will know what it means one day.