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The diseased docks fell
       into disuse
       over the decades
       of grime and crime.

Still, the pigeons peck and
       coo back and forth
       in the dark places
       like lonesome doves.

The flea-bitten cats with manicures
      prowl about nights
      singing gutterally
      to penniless patrons.

The fly-bitten dogs with choke collars
      pander about pensively
      looking for a meal
      to chase.

Back in those days,
      the birds ate like kings,
      the cats enjoyed the rats,
      and the dogs were strangely petted.

It was a glorious carnival,
      with plays and rides,
      the constant chatter,
      and the occasional childish shriek.

The popular places to hang out were
      the cotton-candy booth,
      the giddy merry-go-round,
      and the black leather hot-dog stand.
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