City Lights

… the city’s perfect emanation of light

                                        -Carolyn Forche


Traffic light


__________the hungry man on the corner

_____holding a cup for change.


Christmas lights

_____bring out his high cheekbones

_____ragged pants over thin thighs

__________eating into themselves.


Red light district


__________in fishnet stockings

_____and black leather miniskirt.


Street lights lining

_____dirt road curving

__________around a bend a paved highway

migrant worker and colleagues in an earth-brown

_____van headed southbound

__________to cabbage patches in Watsonville.


Boardwalk lights

_____enveloping broken relationships

__________between high school sweethearts in their thirties

their six year-old on a porcelain horse

_____chasing a dream that will always stay

__________a few lengths away.


Wall Street lights

_____selling the junk bonds analyst

__________the idea of becoming a poet

his office light is not bright

_____enough for him to live comfortably,

but he feels fine.


Porch light

_____waiting for the return

__________of a prodigal son

lost to necessities.

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