Startling Poetry: for the Streetcar

for the Streetcar by Jewelle Gomez

Today I saw Desire
darkly painted steel, hard bells
wheels and unseen motivation.

In the morning traffic she is thick
with patches and paint,
only a streetcar
keeping to the track

Little hints at her whirling colors
restless forces in the night
heat driven engine that
gave her name.

Speeding past are carelessness
surface movements
cars full of assumptions.

We are refuge, strangers,
keeping our promise to her
this time remembering kindness
touching our hands to
the flame. Not drawing back.

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