Dark end of street. Halloween decorations still out. Tombstones. A voice then I see him. A man greeting me from his yard in the dark. Hello.
Far corner, big mean dog that barks from behind the fence during the day is in his front yard unchained, sniffing a fire hydrant. His owner yells his name repeatedly which he ignores completely. I try to not make a sound and stay on the dark part of the street. Hydrant smells stronger than I do. He doesn’t see me.
Across the street, the same woman that was outside talking on her phone two afternoons ago, is still outside talking on her phone. Still looks upset.
Dim streets. Movement everywhere. Shadowy figures move in barely lit yards, sitting on porches. Smoke, staring, music, sweet-herb smoke, tones of conversations, no words. Rap music. A garage door open, light inside. Only a car and it barely fits. Where is all their stuff? Three people with clothes and pillows getting in a big Lincoln, which seems eager to pull away. Getaway maybe runaway.
Backyard bar, three big TVs all on. Hot tub. Three cars. No people.
Old man fiddling with a tarp on the back of a car, in the dark. No light on his house, or in his hand. I am quiet. He doesn’t know another human is walking by three feet away. I feel like a ghost. I wonder how many people I don’t see.
Car comes from behind. I move over. It moves over, behind me. Stops. I cross the street and pretend it’s not there. It doesn’t follow. Turn a corner. Wind blows, rain falls hard, then stops.
A child says hello from a dark porch. Says hello again. I say hello. She asks how I am today. I say tired. I ask her back. She doesn’t answer. Never saw her.
A house dark outside but light shining through glass door. Dog – wolf. Stands alone inside watching. Me. I watch him. I walk. He doesn’t move. It has to be part wolf. It looks out of place. It’s in the wrong place.
Turn the corner. Children laughing, running, falling in the grass. My house. My kids. My light. Home.