clusters of cold human faces
set into frowning, crackled molds
are hovering like marionettes on invisible wire
over the sky-painted streets.
the bus stops are filled with smoke,
magician's disappearing acts
which leave only ashes
and transparent ghosts of words on flaking benches.
the sour taste of cold metal keys
at the back of everybody's throats;
the spark of dying bulbs as they flicker
like dim signals of distress over oil-steeped water.
girls in plaid and steel observe the stars
melting into dawn like mints under their own tongues,
raise their arms longer than sentences,
shorter than silence,
until they could be waving aside the gray
coiling clouds like golden giants,
wanting to feel that moisture against their fingertips,
to feel it snaking down thin white wrists,
serpentine and acidic.
Sierra Jasmine Skinner, Newfoundland, Canada