After buying a rake at a garage sale

on the corner of Geary and Arquello,

a giant of a homeless man

grabbed the rake, screaming:

“That’s mine!”, smashing it over

the hood of the nearest car,

breaking the rake in half.

He threatened to stab me

with the jagged remains

of the broken rake

as I beat a hasty retreat.

He chased after me like a fire-breathing

Brontosaurus, manically screaming:

“I’m going to kill you, mother-fucker!”

I ran as fast as I remember running

from the bugle-blaring Chinese

at the Yalu River when my unit beat

an ignominious retreat,

and I forgot to keep a tight asshole.

I zigzagged around buses and cars,

ducking into Ace Hardware on Clement

I heard Mother’s voice advising me

to, Gay pish dos aroys! whenever

I had an upsetting experience.

“Can I please have the key to the men’s room?”

I asked in a desperate plea.