A solstice moon, almost full.
Waning gibbous.
Some stars. Not many.
City lights, streetlights,
illuminate the sky, the pavement.
An empty space near the emergency room entrance.
Blue lights. Red lights.
Soft noises of blunted crisis.
Mute sadness seeps through the sliding doors
and granulates in the cold night air,
becomes something solid and small
that can be breathed into the lungs and metastasize
like coal dust, like asbestos, like fear.
Yellow lines on the pavement are faded
and lead away toward a not-so-distant interstate,
on ramps and off ramps, the hum of traffic.
A parking garage.
An abandoned department store.
A skywalk leading to an empty building.
In the other direction, a neighborhood
of once majestic Victorians.
Boards on windows.
Metal stairwells to second-floor apartments.
Bars on first-floor windows.
Empty lots.
An old car, tireless,
its axle rods resting on dirt
and cinder blocks,
clumps of grass persisting against the odds
for no other reason than that they must.