Rash's Poetry House

New York After Hours ] Sanity Is Better Only Because We Say It Is ] She Traveled With Purpose and Determination ] [ Even In California the Nights Are Cold ]

Even in California the Nights Are Cold

At western shores the peach afterglow fades slowly.
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 in heat,
'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 tonight."

he repeats once more.  "Th' night I found ole Boche
here, was the coldest night of the year.  His ole bones
just shook lose the hide on 'im."  He reaches out
to warm the thin body beside him.

" 'bout ten year ago I found 'im gnawin' on a meatless
bone a-shiverin' in th' cold.  Musta come from some posh
family didn't have no more use o' him -- just loose skin
shiverin' in the night with only this ole bone

b'tween him and starvation.  Sure as hell didn't know
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 gnarled hands

that unconsciously reach for his presence.  A shiver
runs through both as breezes stir the city night
and moist sharpening cold blows in from the bay to cut
through threadbare cloth and scraggy fur.  He turns,

having said more than in years, spreads
his thin sleeping bag in the alcove of the grated
shop entry.  "night.  Gotta be up early,
them city workers come in early

and gotta be there to welcome 'em."  Bones curl
against bones in the only protection they can find, each
struggling for warmth and sleep before the other.  One
morning one will wake to howl the loss of the other.

New York After Hours ] Sanity Is Better Only Because We Say It Is ] She Traveled With Purpose and Determination ] [ Even In California the Nights Are Cold ]

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