A row of glistening kids stood under the pool lamp, gazing through the fence links as one of the witnesses, beer coolie in hand flyswatter in the other, reported to the cops that guilty boys had scattered.

I saw them, belly first, feet slapping the sidewalk running through the breezeway. And when the cops, in their shiny tactical boots, knocked at my apartment, asking what I saw, I told them the kid’s name was Paul that he was dribbling down the breezeway when the M-80 went off in his face, that earlier in the day, over by the dumpster, the same boys were stuffing Ladyfingers in a calico’s mouth.

Later that night the blasters blared cassettes of latest turn-table mixes spun by Miguel from 7-B, and those who could danced on the cardboard locking their joints, contorting their bodies until they broke into a fluid sequence of acrobatic movements.

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