On a day like today, you have to be out in the sun. You have to steal time, walk outside, look at all the women and girls in their sundresses, flesh shining and hungry; white girls already pinking on shoulders, cheeks.
I start in my neighborhood, where the guy selling Street Sheets sings as I pass. We all love you, he calls after me, gold tooth catching sunlight.
As I walk uphill, the street people thin out, drop away; at the top of the hill, a tall young woman rises from the back seat of a limo at the Fairmont. High-heeled sandal, white draped calf, thigh, and now dark hair caught up in a jeweled clasp, bare shoulders, waist: she stands on the walkway in a long white evening gown. Just beyond her, in the doorway of the hotel, an older woman waits for her car, aggressively ugly in clothes chosen to announce wealth: shapeless, heavy, baldly ornamented.
Across from Grace Cathedral is a small park. Bronze fountain supported by naked young men, bronze eyes blank. A woman lies on a bench, head on her purse, eyes closed - almost closed - she tries to sleep but her consciousness keeps her tuned in.
Every bench is occupied and much of the grass, skirts lifted and sleeves rolled to expose skin to sun. At one bench is a man who would look at home in my part of town, down in the flats: dirty beard, dreadlocked hair. He's spinning.
I stop to look closer. I had thought it was a bicycle wheel, but now I see the thread winding from a spindle in his hand to the shining wheel. The wheel spins and the spindle dips and wool or cotton or gold from straw is spun.
The spindle dips and releases me, long running strides down the hill. Soon I'll be home, the mirror in my loft spinning the last drops of sunshine into a jar on the shelf by the bed.
At night, when the back door to the strip club slams and I hear voices spiraling up the walls to my window, I'll open the jar. I'll hear the beginnings of a fight, the Don't you dare, the I'm not the one, and I'll scatter stored sunlight down and over their shoulders.
They'll stop, look up, breathe in, and remember a day when bare toes dug into dirt and grass roots. When sun cooked into shoulders and back. When they dreamed of a spring that never ends.