Like Taking Your Glasses Off by Jennifer Paffenbarger

the street is all pink, she says

and that man is just a pair of legs,

pink street cloaking pink shirt and pink skin.

each tall iron lamp is a flickering candleflame,

each sparkle of reflected light a frozen firework

exploding across glass-front shops,

wavering and dancing in the dark.

all of this she describes to me as we wander the streets,

her hand in mine to keep her safe so

she doesn’t run into an iron lamp-post,

or open door, or headless man.


my eyes are whole,

but they can’t see the world

shining and disappearing in a beautiful mirage.

I wish I was in this place with her,

seeing what she sees,

instead of following the fine silver stars

she breathes out with her voice.