Another dawn poem. A virgin Thursday
morning that sparkles and blushes before
falling to the spatterings of day.
I'm starting a journey, dragging my suitcase
and carry-on bags to the taxi stand
at the corner. It's an hour before the earliest
alarm I know. Before the street lights shut down
at the tired end of their shift; when the air bites
crisp and clean. Before the turbulent machine of day
accelerates into full throttle. An orange cab
pulls up, driver devout as desert sand,
serenity riding in the passenger seat.
I slide into the back, give my destination.
He glances at my face in the rear view mirror.
I can see only his eyes, the dark oasis
of them. It seems as if we're sharing
a secret, though we are not. Red streaks
begin to reach along the horizon.
Obviously he and dawn are old acquaintances
having peered into each other's blinking,
bloodshot eyes a time or two. Can't remember
the last time I was out at this hour, I say
reaching for conversation. I ask him what time
his day starts and he tells me 4 a.m.
So then I ask what 4 a.m. looks like and he says:
It looks like anything else. It looks like God.
He accelerates easily. An occasional car rolls toward us.
Headlights nod as they pass.
Photography credit: Detail from "Close Up of a Taxi Driver's Eyes in Rearview Mirror of His Cab," by Jim Richardson (originally color).