It’s summer on Bell Avenue across from Strand’s Coal Yard.
We sit on the stairs and wait for the streetlight down the block
to snap on. We see the moths make their bacchus dance
around the glow, and we see more stars than ever because
the night is clear over us. My sister wants to believe one
of the stars above the water tower is our father, who died
on the couch in the stuffy front room last May. He is looking
down on us. I wonder if he sees me and Billy, who lives
three houses down, sit and talk and talk, while I lean back
against the wrought iron banister that leaves a crease on my
skin, until my brother’s bedroom light goes off and Billy
and I are alone, except for a car that goes down 63rd Street,
and then Billy returns his warm hand up my leg and asks
if I will go back to the gangway, where it is darker still.