In these downtown streets there are no half smoked butts
only the erratic heartbeat of cars, vents, and lights
in the rush hours, quick smiles, eager laughter
in between hurried bites and over stressed words
amidst the red, green, yellow, stop, and go
the gray panorama of sky and asphalt
second hand smoke, cheap coffee and stale glances.
Fancy store fronts and the reek of back alleys
don't loiter, don't solicit, don't stop traffic
blue and red OPEN signs flashing like sirens
sea of uniforms, pale faces, possessed feet
pallid tones of flesh beneath fluorescent lamps
old christmas lights sagging expired from branches
with amber brown buds about to bloom anew.