Rusty bricks painted by graffiti.
Lit neon flickered—
Quick Draw! ATM Inside!
Steam rose out of street grates
as if it were ghostly fingers come to carry sinners below.
The sign posted—
We Buy Gold! Compramos Oro!
Overhead the train rumbled by.
Her back turned from the polished white cross
as it lit the night two blocks down.
It still reminded her of the tarnished metal one, long lost behind papers and wrappers in a drawer somewhere.
Her breath fogged from the cold,
she waited for browsing customers.
Her glittery mini skirt twisted and groped
as she flexed her feet to find a comfortable place in her stilettos.
Headlights highlighted the purple blemish along her jaw and neck
as Johns, Johnsons, and Beaus’ questioned her position for the night,
she recalls the tiny room overrun by roaches, yet no room for ants where
her lover awaited her return.
At night’s end, on the thundering train above
she will count her hetaeric wages
with slumberous eyes and sharp ears,
then roll up two hands full in cigarette paper
and tuck into the heels of her shoes.