the man down the alley and across the street
is my guard, my night owl who beckons the night.
a lamp-post squared and watching; the neighborhood.
his cigarette glows, he puffs
with nary a ruffle of his body he sits; perched
in the early pitch of morn’
as i walk khalil, my fearful chocolate lab
past the obelisk monuments
of beeswax neighbors
sleeping with solid vacancy.
they are resting now
while the streets hum quietly, expecting their return.
a distant lowing bark muffles the gray black dawn
my heart races, moves me along my routine path
allowing khalil to sniff briefly
at the sleeping earth’s musk
marking his scent upon its’ dew.
and as the sun’s messengers begin to call
i retreat. while suddenly, silently, one by one
they awake and attack daybreak.