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Some Nights the Street Lights
By Brian Tapfar
I remember when the streets were grey and the bricks red;
now the whole city is coated in a layer of filth.
At night, though, it looks the same as it did then.
streetlights still cast the same shadows,
the moon still watches from its lonely post.
I walk down these empty streets some nights
because it reminds me of the past.
And because I don't know what to do with the present.
Some nights the streetlights glimmer in the ocean
and reflect onto the hulls of the liners docked for the night.
Some of the liners will never leave again.
I can always tell those from the others because those are the rusted ones,
the ones whose names you can no longer read.
Some nights the streetlights shine on the wheel of an old hobo's shopping cart
as it creaks and wobbles into an alley.
Its owner shuffles slowly behind, unsure of most things,
but sure of where it is he sleeps every night.
Some nights the streetlights shine on an old convertible,
if I take the route past the VFW and around the junkyard,
"the scenic route," I used to call it.
I used to own a car like that, in light blue with white upholstery.
The one in the yard doesn't have any paint any more;
the seats have long since been used as replacements somewhere else.
Some nights the streetlights are out,
and so I find a bench and have a seat to stare up at the moon.
Its reflection is different, broader than those of a streetlight.
It shines on everything, every garbage-ridden street and every dirt-covered building.
Some nights the moon shines on me
as I sit on a park bench with my arms folded up behind my head,
chin tucked, legs stretched, eyes opening and closing
on the nights when the streetlights are out.
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Document last modified on: 11/04/2007