Old Compton Street


Where the mirrored wall meets window
I look out on a street of black and faded rainbow flags.
A skinhead’s camouflage stands out in diesel air.
Others pass as if going from a party back to cupboards and tea
a day that bills get paid, the laundry sorted.

I’ve bought a book, some underwear
and write postcards home to say
that the espresso here tastes no better
than it does on Castro Street.

Marquees will soon electrify the night as taxis rustle tourists.
The larvae ooze from limousines before tonight’s premiere
quick moths attracted to its searchlights.
But no chimeras for Sonya
washing down the stoop across from me,
her days as regular as toast.

November 22, 2001


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