Stranger Love


She tosses a blanket over her head, prays to the pigeons beside her upright roller suitcase. Like me, chilled after extreme heat. Perhaps.
Red shoes. White sweats. She is done. Or undone.
We could be in the Andes in Peru, I cocooned in a sleeping bag on a schoolhouse floor, she a shepherd on grass she was born to guard but never own. Seasons rip before us.
Sit back a moment, she nods, huddled and clutching her fleece cover around her ears like a bonnet in the breeze. Let’s relax.
There is a despair here, yes, but here we are.
She drifts into kisses and candles, birthdays and tiny toes pumping a swing like an elevator operator. Just a push of the button.
Whose toes? Her toes.
Blowing her nose, saying Hail Mary’s. No one will bother her here.
Real life, I’m not sure what you are, are you the suit puffing an E-cigarette bobbing past,
to the Hare Krishnas’ cymbal soundtrack, unawares.
Are you the coral lips under sunglasses screaming “cockroach” in the deli and shaking straight blonde hair.
Or the Bible piled with sweatshirts and bottles in the grocery cart by the park statue.
Are you the lattice work, endless endless building of we don’t know why or what and then we don’t see as our eyes skate past too often, horses on a carousel.
A growing up and out of a center that seems the magnet of Earth, all centers spinning forth.
Let me go crawl under the shepherd’s blanket, across the concrete where shoddy green pockets charge up in the aftermath of a cheap haircut, so for a moment we are warm.

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