Winter 2005



Nicole Henares

the red bricks of Market street
5pm bathed in amber light
men and women in black overcoats
their faces lush
lush the glowing concrete
the creaky street cars
the mad cello player using his plastic case
as a tip cup
lush this city

lush that hipster wireman on a pedicycle
with the american flag
who smugly cuts in front of me every morning

lush the brass circle stars of history this
history my history now
this heartbeat of nervousness
the mint tinkle of cable cars across
the street from french churches
and pink neon blur

lush the too big white patent leather shoes
of the little girl playing jump rope
outside of the Orpheum Theater
on a sunday afternoon

lush the mystery of broom whiskers
tied with red thread
the pigeons on windowsills
wings aflutter with sleep
lush his familiar hat
the elegantly dressed raspy voiced harmonica player
with the purple and green mardi gras beads
lush this city

lush the always closed Sutter street dress shop
the widower pays rent on to keep as a shrine
for his late wife

lush the lost owl of Bush street
the afternoon organ serenades
the arabesque archways
of brick and tealit windows

the couples hand in hand
taking over the sidewalk
lush the black lettering on an unlit hamburger sign
apricot rhythms & chicory clouds
lush these rouged skies
this city this fire
making me remember

lush the ageless man in a wheelchair
wearing headphones carrying a sign
that reminds us to SMILE

lush cosmetic emporiums
pink and white balloons
the christmas wreaths on street lights in August

lush the honeyed wine and
syncopated cool of Fillmore
the purple victorian bookstore
that used to be Jimbo's Bop City

Pearls of Jazz and sad coffee
in North Beach cafes
lush the loneliest doorman
in San Francisco wearing teddy bear ears
lush Eric Brown oming to trees along Columbus Avenue
"they've been spiritually neglected" he says

lush City Lights sparkling

lush walking up Grant Avenue
at night w/orange lollipops made in mexico
trying to figure out my head

lush Coit Tower and the slack jawed
moon amid the city skyline
and that moon full in smear of fog next to
multicolored office buildings
beaming on little dogs with red leashes
french flags and striped awnings
lush the man next to me
grunting eyyyahhh into the distance

lush this city
lush this city
lush this city I wrap around me like a cloak

Nicole Henares lives and teaches high school English in San Francisco, CA. She has studied with Elmaz Abinader, David Mura, and Quincy Troupe in the Voices of Our Nation Writing Workshops.



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