Just Before Sun Rise

It is the quietest part of night. Drunks rattle home, no cars going up and down the strip, castrated diesels sleeping behind gas stations, sides of roads, truck stops out on the edge of town. And cop cars quit cruising ’bout an hour ago; getting ready for shift change.

In diners hookers and pimps eat cherry pie while deformed go-go dancers apply powder and blush in public bathrooms across town; wearing lipstick in thick strokes, blotting it down a little with bites on a napkin or piece of toilet paper.

Soon they’ll be home. Home to their trailers on the west side of town, home to their studio apartments on Wells, home to hotel rooms for weekly rates with neon glowing in the sweating window, home to send Jr. off to school, to stop the crying of a new born, while their men sleep off the night before.

Factory workers getting ready to face the clock, punch it, and add up the hours of the week. They’ll hit the bars that were left vacant a couple of hours ago, asking for Old Style and Malort. And, they do this before sliding home to honey curved up in a double bed that sinks in the middle.

It is still night. A train rolls through town. The sun will be up soon. And morning’s dew will fade.

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