This dirty street where the rain quenches
the window box of poppies to tearful beauty
is full of shadow people.
They turn gray in solitude or bent huddles
drudging toward a late bar, an abandoned car,
newspaper blankets under overhangs.
A twenty four hour open light shines
at just the right angle on the box my friend nurtures
in the topaz brightness.
This single thing she brought from home flourishes
with nonchalance in gun shots and gas fumes.
I am visiting, but she lives here.
The only softness and color besides her reflection
in the warped window, determined and alive,
are the flowers the rain strengthens with a will to survive.
It is a beautiful night.
An old radiator and red wine warms our laughter.
She came here after a career, a dream to meet
a mighty editor that turned books to movies,
southern peonies to northern lights, but itīs alright,
she says, I may not be rich in my lifetime -
and I agree it is daunting, but we are rich enough,
if only for tonight.