It is always, it seems,
an inner-city street, lined with warehouses
accentuated by cinderblock
projects too concrete to induce dreams.
Purple-painted cement patios
seem bent by maroon couches
filled with larger-than-life women
fanning bandana-wrapped faces while
their thin men lean into and huddle around
tables, drinking beer out of cans,
playing cards for chump change.

A bus grumbles along
mixing diesel fumes with the exhaust
of crack. Inside, a blue-tattooed
ex-con tries seducing a girl
seated nearby. She talks of Jesus,
the afterlife, her church. He promises
to meet her there--although their
"theres" are at odds. Still, he prays for
what might happen after dark
in a consecrated park
off Washington Street.