First Stars, Last Light
He knew the night would soon arrive:
The turquoise-honey glow, first stars
Above the freeways full of cars,
The downtown towers lit, alive
With golden bustle. And he knew
That wintertime would soon arrive:
Lamps on each afternoon by five,
Leaf-freeing gusts and sleet, blue
Cold sun, the Christmas music on
In elevators. And he knew
Death strikes—at Mom now. Then at you,
Him, everyone. So every dawn
He prays for breath and life. When gone,
Who knows? He knows he’s still alive,
That death might happen during drive
Or dance, with Christmas music on.
Used car lots, flicker-light motels, and mini-marts,
Shops hawking everything from beer to auto parts;
At bus stop no one now except stray shopping carts.
But rent stays low here; there—“School of New Fine Arts,”
Café, and nightclub. Here, ten famous bands got starts—
Beside the mini-marts, barbed-wired lots, and dim-lit parks.
Before fame’s conflagration starts—the tiny sparks.
Photo of city skyline at night courtesy Pixabay.