Theresa Haffner

Rookie - 81 Points (August 25,1945 / Plainwell, Michigan)

On Lillian Way - Poem by Theresa Haffner

cold gray against greenish black
street lamp globes against
rectangle buildings
sitting in a parked car
along the deserted alleyways
off santa monica boulevard
car windows fogged
the cold green street lights
filtered through the prism
of a broken windshield
delicate spiderwebs of
white light diffusion

only in L.A.
a prostitute stands
against the bare wall
under a street light
with traffic going by

on the sidewalk
across the street
cocaine sellers asking
“what do you want? ”
“what do you need? ”

beside the building
a bottle and can collector
inspects a long low
excuse for a trash barrel

the prostitute
draws a lot of attention
cars pull to the curb
windows unwind

in the car adjacent
derelicts are fixing dope
shooting up in the
luminous twilight

now the whore has a trick
a car door slams
and tires spin away

much like a river
the wind has stirred up the palm leaves
and palmetto shadows
extra currents for a
3 a.m. late night traffic flow

much like my soft core
more than usually hard core
translucent shadows

on the concave street
vertical street signs
body schisms

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, September 23, 2007

Poem Edited: Monday, April 11, 2011

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