Everywhere I walk,
the night smells of marijuana & mown
grass. Through glass, people
& their families
nestle round the blue
light of television.
I am smelling a rose
made burgundy by the darkening
sky while my dog pisses
on a row of irises. I say hello
to a small face peeking
round the corner of someone’s house:
a cat in my mind
until it stands upright
& shuffles away, ringed
tail dragging the dirt. That
chandelier glinting from the ceiling
of a dining room is worth more
than everything I own
combined. Ugly as fuck
chandelier, gold & crystal—
why don’t we get more
imaginative? I lock eyes
with a woman
lowering her blinds:
acquiesce to the familiar desire
to not be seen—shift
my looking to the other side
of the street.

DARLA MOTTRAM resides in Portland, Oregon, where she works at a grocery store, writes, and goes for long walks. She likes windy days best. You can find her online at