Winter Urban Party-Going Scene

by Thomas B. White


Neon light, toxic ice and snow
pile up: the tops of the dripping brownstones
across from the cheap cafe
glow faintly like an evil child’s hellish ice cream cone.

Those corner fireplugs could be
little muggers,
squat and mean;
they look threatening
like they might refuse
to cooperate with the
fire department’s machine

or just launch themselves at us.

At one dark, cold, deserted
intersection, a stop light programmed
a perpetual
“warning yellow”
blinks faster and faster
as if someone
in the dimly lit windows above
were silently recording our racing pulse.

Tenements are on either side, their
fire escapes arthritic with rust
like towering, crook-back sentries:
they appear to want to arrest us.

S.O.S.-ing our greetings
to anyone anywhere
our sweaty party suits
heavy as glittering chains
flash
on-off
on-off
as we pass
between shadow and street lamp,

a traveling light show
of silver-sequined bodies
filled with
chromosomes
and bright bones,

we look for a “good time”

cursing the prophetic darkness
wishing we were home.


Copyright © 2008 by Thomas B. White

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