The Rain On 8th Avenue

from "The Emergency Lane" by Dudley Saunders

buck-tooth call-girls on the corner
like red-haired roses in the rain
dropped off by a drunken mourner
on the wrong grave like a train
that old west bandits disconnected
from the engines and left scattered
'cross the tracks their vaults dissected
hoping that guy's looking at her

purple pimps pick up a patter
whispered like boys behind a school
who found some magazine in tatters
hope the next guy won't stay cool
when he hears the things your promise
that your mom and daddy do
when the bedroom doorlock's kissed
the doorjamb now here come a few

and one of them
will tie her sighs up in a bow
and post her ghosts
to those who'll mostly
read what they already know
and one of them will shave his face
til clean of mean
a trace of grace
will make him buy
for her
a gold lame

but none of this is really true
they just lay down and go to sleep

and wake up with the sunset
and rain down on the street outside
their faces fall and splatter wet
the sidewalk they become the bride
or groom
of things that they became
too bored to do
the faces rain
become a pool
then they drain
clouds still heavy
with the rain
on 8th avenue