Some dark nights I drift out my window,
Where the streets are long strings
of red and white pearls,
Each one humming.
I’ll get as far as the outskirts.
There the hills clench the city
Like a burning shield.
But from how far I went this dark night,
Twelve million and one street lamps
Were only a cheaply sequined dress.
Worn by the mountains,
Tossed under bullet hole stars.
James Collins is a bookseller for The Writer’s Block in Las Vegas, NV. He is also a poet, essayist, and food critic with a monthly Drink This! Eat That! column in Downtown Zen.
“Shoes Off” originally appeared in Desert Companion.