It’s late, too late for young girls to walk dark sidestreets-
that’s what the man in the freedom-color police car tells you.
It’s a dangerous time to walk, pump gas, go for a jog,
a dangerous time to live- haven’t you ladies heard?
but the three of you are bold and raise your chins to the shadows.
You call attention to yourselves, the good kind that repels sidewalk monsters
belting middle-school punk anthems and cawing when the others make dirty jokes,
the whispered kind that no one expects Catholic girls to know.
You lose your breath looking at your friend’s moon-blue skin, and you think
she is goddamn beautiful when she’s fearless.
You have no reason to be out on the streets, but you want to kiss midnight
with an open mouth and taste his black secrets. You want to dance
with those honking drivers and toss your hair when you step on their sorry toes.
You want to sing along with the cricket-thrum and the screeching tires.
You want to conduct this moonside cacophony, and watch the world kneel down
as you yourself bow to the omnipotence of dawn’s aureate crescendo.