Evening signs a tremendous breath against
the groaning weight of this city.
Day away to rest, with its falling rays catching
sliding on arms straining beneath
rolled shirt sleeves, fishers back
from dock leaning out windows
butt-ends clenched between teeth,
curling tobacco rosettes
against flushed sky.
Falling light dusts long heads
of those impatient in their patience
for this pilgrimage, restless,
beneath bus stop awnings astride
Where if you tried—just try—to
peer through shuttered life to glimpse,
the hidden acts of plays best viewed
at this pale hour.
Here, a head held in hands, elbows bunching
mug ringed newspaper, lost amidst stacks of things
To catch a moment between thumb and index,
where the pit of an ashtray overflows with ends, with
beginnings stuck between movie theatre cushions
where one single someone sits,
Buzzing neon OPEN glowing red, cutting
long lines across a face, shuffling,
table to table
Now look, a mumble about a room
Unbothered by the leaf-litter of his solitude,
he sets the kettle not for two. A life marked
by half finished things and Rachmaninoff plays
from the next room
tumbles front over end,
end over front.
THIS IS THE LAST STOP
He smiles for the whistle of a steaming spout,
presses forehead to window pane
to watch the falling of the day.
Written by: Dominique Whitman
Dominique Witman is a SF transplant who has been living in and enjoying the city for over six years. She is a part of the CCSF community and is currently studying English. She enjoys exploring identity and cultural differences within the US through her poetry.