The dark recoils tonight, insulted by street lamps
that arch and spray across the potholed pavement.
In the distance, old malls rise wearily from their parking lots
with their own lights, orange and intermittent.
Every shadow fights to join the night,
but settles in corners, ceding territory.
The city bluffs and wins, even here on its frayed edge.
Tonight the halogen arrogance softens with mist -
not quite rain, not yet.
But there are crocuses somewhere just out of sight.
Perhaps they grow in the lungs of two girls
who stumble, laughing, across the street,
out of one pool of light
into the next.
They are breathing flowers in and out,
on their way to kitchens and worried mothers.
Perhaps the flowers smell like beer, or gin.
In street lamp islands,
impudent city-shine glistening with turning mist,
they breathe life.
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