On a raucous morning
the city dawns
in pink and blue and orange
The sirens bleat like so many
sheep on a hillside,
pithy horns singing a symphony
of anxiety and depression.
The grey concrete beneath
is deathly still.
Icy tendrils threaten to
creeping up and down my legs
violating my warmth and peeling
my soul from my body.
It is cold enough that clouds of
exhalation swirl when I inhale,
that my big toes are curled
against mismatched socks
within tattered snow boots.
Steam gathers in the laundry vents
and the crazy old man with a
condom-hat preys on the warmth.
He reminds me of a giant soothsayer,
sucking in the ghosts of someone’s
He is either preying or praying and
he is hating this tough-as-nails winter.
Whoever said that this city was
might have had something…
but they might have been on something
because I don’t feel very glorious right now.
I feel cold and violated and lulled to
A pulsing, vibrating sense of
Every time the stoplight changes and the
howls echo and the
of those patriotic, sheep-like cops
flash across that crazy man’s face
like signs from God.
– April Nicotera