Colleen McKee

Howard Street, San Francisco, Sunday Afternoon

At 8th

This gal waits for the light with spandex galaxies
painted on her legs

Across the way

A mural in which a ghost
shows a child how to fly
from a broken room

Real pigeons peck
at the kid’s hands

Looking left and right

I want to stop, to write
but the only bench on Howard
has this posted sign:
No Loitering!
We Will Call

On the corner of 7th

A teenage girl sleeps
in nothing but fuchsia
bra and panties
her thumb in her mouth

Gold curls sweat
a storm around her face
focused on a difficult dream

I want to wake her but what
would I say?

This is the question
I’ll carry home

Colleen McKee is the author of two chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and memoir: My Hot Little Tomato and A Partial List of Things I Have Done for Money. She is also co-editor of an anthology of personal narratives, Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak About Health Care in America. Her most recent book is called Nine Kinds of Wrong. It includes poetry, fiction, and memoir. Colleen lives in Oakland, CA and teaches at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. You may visit her blog or contact her.