First, the sun:
the long pink pit of the sky’s mouth.
The snow-capped peaks of Division Street businesses
are grey cutouts of the virgin gold sky.
Lights and televisions wink in windows.
Mothers reheating waffles,
children rustling plastic lunch bags,
if there is a dad
remarking on the bitterness of the coffee
while slathering saltines in butter.
I move on.
The darkness seems uncertain
of where it wants to hide before
the dawn forces it to retreat
into basements and dark computer rooms.
But it knows its time will come again
as sure as my boots strike the asphalt,
as the white smoke escapes my lungs
and dissolves in the pure cold air
like a personal incense.
I am the only pilgrim
this brutally quiet morning;
on my knees as the sun ascends
from the black voids of hell.