Day of a Pilgrim
Before grey alleys or colorful homes
empty their contents into the predawn streets
like loose change from an old purse,
the moment between sleep and awake lingers
and the morning air is innocence.
Before the sun rises and shadows are cast
on crawling creatures and the corrugated skyline,
the wind holds its breath and waits,
and I steal steps down the sidewalk
yet untouched this day by the living or the dead.
At noon when everything is blinking in the sunlight
I have no choice but to bask in a shadowless show,
swallowing sunshine and my vulnerability,
again realizing there is nothing to hide,
but only to wonder about as I keep walking.
As the sun sets and shadows reform and elongate,
I walk and speak without words, to myself,
about all the things I saw and didn’t see
in the light and in the blackness cast steadily
and quietly by the great burning ball.
At dusk I stop in front of my brick stoop
and wonder where the second of my two is
to welcome me, as he usually does,
into this cement ark of sleep and awake
that rocks steadily in this dreary, desolate city.
more by A. M. LAINE
photograph by Camila Damasio