She wears a black hoodie, hood up, with layers and thermals underneath.
She has a St Joan coin in her pocket she fidgets with, devoid of any belief.
The wind is harsh, and stings her face. Strands of her dark hair dance about.
She is looking on a street of bars and restaurants, nothing to soothe her doubt.
Winter is neither friend or foe, just a fact, like the sun or the rain or coming death.
The hard, striped candy, teal and white in her mouth, puts a hint of mint on her breath.
She could kiss St, Michael, but he can’t keep her safe, or even offer warmth for a night.
He loved the hint of mint on her breath, when she was still worthy in his hallowed sight.
The crowds and the lights and the noise threaten to overwhelm, but she stays so calm.
There is no voice in prayers, only begging. No remorse from forgiveness, just acid balm.
In dreams she still craves cigarettes. Waking she settles for black coffee, unshed tears.
A flyer for college crusades crushed in her pocket, with St. Joan, a sigh no one hears.
She walks to the back of The Strip, up towards Hodges Library, to pass the night there.
Tuesday, open 24 hours. and all the words of the poet she loves are hers, like cold air.
Up the hill, too out of breath, not enough fire the burn the fury that made Hel strong.
That fury could at least make her feel brave, even if we all lose if we sing the die song.