There are gray haired women who in the doorways who gossip. Lamps spill amber onto the street. A truck pushes on into the morning. Generations die uncommitted on the train.

The batting lashes and frigid secretaries. There are mug faces and bulbous lips. Hair twisted and tortured unnaturally. The broken vision of an Aztec queen. The King’s straight black hair. A women wearing time. Bad branches of the family tree. The sad strongman. The pitiful princess who has been ripped off all her life. The Boss’s favorite boy. The brides and virgins with glasses. The tight metal lurching girl. Her boyfriend sick with fear from what his mother might say about the unborn child.

The stumped trunk woman in the wheelchair begging with a close friend. The drunk conductor with gloves. The bald artist with half a hand. The screaming confused children in baskets with wheels. The Saturday night hipsters who live with their mothers.

The Polish extortionist and burglar. The giggling Spanish girls with wide teethy mouths and precise bangs. The Chinese man with an empty bucket. The two black kids with torn paper suitcases. The lonely man drawing circuits from a book called “110 IC Timing Device Projects”.

The regal girl with a sack over her shoulder. Her face is every queen on a deck of cards. She is mesmerized by her own reflection in the door. Engaged with no one else.

The exhausted girl with the week’s food and frustrations dazed into her single beautiful world. To think she could have gotten away with it. To think she could have run from this lonely place. To think she could have made the mistake more than once. To fix herself. To find herself in the clouds.

X.F. Pine