the patrol car has left the block once more,
a bull shark circling
nearer to some shore, headlights
blared, a black silhouette steering the vehicle;
night kisses the horizon, pecks it sharp
like a bullet case
scraping the darkling pavement,
only the whitest stars visible above.
many like me stroll sidewalks at this hour,
smoking a stogie
or sitting on empty swings
in playgrounds vacant of laughter; it is better
that children sleep while they can and can dream
before the true night,
that blight of bruise blue, sirens
wailing on their way to steal away some dark man
from the streets. where I stand on an apartment stoop
I count the vehicle
for the fourth time, lurking
out around the corner, like a wolf dressed metallic.
nothing gets better come nightfall. nothing
gets done while asleep.
i slip on my shadow, hood
dark, concealing my face. lean back into the steps
and light another cigarette. inhale.
exhale. most don’t have
to worry: their paleness turns
them ghostly, invisible, to the patrolling cars.
but I wear my darkness. i wish I knew
how to make sparks fly,
have them issue from throat, crack
into splinters of glass. the law tells me to sit
but I refuse. i am a phosphorus
fuse; i am whitened;
but i am impoverished,
and I too have my own reasons to be frightened.