Night. City street after rain.
Early autumn leaves cling to the pavement
like wet hair on a waiting face.
Amber and blue incandescence
lies in pools for walking entrances,
performances and exits,
as the occasional soloist mimes
man walking alone on the street at night,
or woman hurrying home, face averted.
Each passage punctuates with a semicolon:
more of the same to come.
Streetlamps hollow out faces, obscure
intent: anything could inhabit each mask;
any act could ignite each pool of light,
river of dark. Nobody expects the
painful imposition of words out of the dark:
Excuse me, but could you—
is enough to encourage shivering,
crossing the street briskly. And it’s all right:
darkness anonymizes. Soon one expects to