Avenue

The main street bathed in neon lights,
long lines of red, yellow, and green
reflecting off white, black, silver cars
with windows shadowed in the night,
headlights boring holes in the darkness.

The main street bathed in silence,
broken here and there with a shout
or car horn, freight train or drunken laugh
echoing for a moment across the paved valley,
bouncing off the hills and dissolving in the river.

The main street bathed in ragged glamour,
safe danger, comforting hostility.
I am a native outsider in the dark,
under the neon lights, between empty windows
of brick palaces long gone.

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