The buildings in this town
look sad at night.
Empty whitewashed rooms,
and dim light
These are hollow caverns
glowing feebly, shining bravely
all alone against the soft dark mist that does not touch them,
against the life outside
that has left them all alone
for the darkness.
But not the houses.
The interior chambers of the dwellings at the edge
are also painted with the same dark, creamy matte
shabbily replenished era's haute couture.
Their ceilings are high, too,
and these places are not really brighter
than those abandoned offices
of left behind goods
in the heart of the city.
And yet they do not stand the same.
Those other places,
places of business
of commerce and bustle in the day,
seem now so gallant
as I leave them,
seem now to try not to show their hurt
at being left
while these approaching houses laugh
outside of me
and shutting out all who pass,
invoking envy from the lost,
inspiring loss in the hearts of the otherwise safe
with their boldness,
with their gleaming walls and invisible glass,
with everything they show so carelessly,
with everything they hide,
cliques of rooms and passages well-worn,
contented with their settings,
their positions embracing
the loving ones who've chosen them
and choose to stay,
each day choose to return
They hurt me with their smugness,
with the cold way
they exclude me and don't know,
with the way they display just glimpses
of warm belonging
Poor traveler on a battered bus,
I rumble by so late,
too late to remember where,
to remember that I, too,
have somewhere like this to go to
when I choose,
where I belong.
after dark has left,
the downtown rooms
will shine with gratitude
to have their purposes restored.
I will travel on again,
travel somewhere else
But the houses
with their lights off,
they will only sleep.
by Sara, copyright 1999, all rights reserved