Even in California the Nights Are Cold
At western shores the peach afterglow fades
He returns from day's labor in financial districts
and releases Boche from hours of guarding
draws up a crate, lights the burnt end
of a cigarette and waves at his friend.
"Gonna be cold tonight. Too clear to keep
'most as cold as the night I found him."
Stars shine, would be seen if not in the city,
as the remaining heat of the street
slips past into the void of chilling
December air. "Gonna be cold
he repeats once more. "Th' night I
found ole Boche
here, was the coldest night of the year. His
just shook lose the hide on 'im." He
to warm the thin body beside him.
" 'bout ten year ago I found 'im gnawin' on
bone a-shiverin' in th' cold. Musta come from
family didn't have no more use o' him -- just loose
shiverin' in the night with only this ole bone
b'tween him and starvation. Sure as hell
how to take care o' hisself. Ain't learned
much in the last
ten years or so neither." Boche raises
his head and lays
a chin on a bony old knee, eyes constantly on
that unconsciously reach for his presence.
runs through both as breezes stir the city night
and moist sharpening cold blows in from the bay to
through threadbare cloth and scraggy fur. He
having said more than in years, spreads
his thin sleeping bag in the alcove of the grated
shop entry. "night. Gotta be up
them city workers come in early
and gotta be there to welcome 'em."
against bones in the only protection they can find,
struggling for warmth and sleep before the
morning one will wake to howl the loss of the other.