I can bring myself to the writing the way you drag yourself to do the dishes, one after another, the water flowing over a bowl, a plate, sun is shining in behind you and the sound of the water becomes a song, you had only meant to clean one or two but now the rhythm has you, you are wiping down the empty counter, dishes stacked and dripping dry, order restored, a little space opened up in your apartment, a space in your head where you can breathe and see a scrap of horizon.
If I tip my head to the right and shake it slightly, out falls the woman with the black leather eyepatch and upright 'fro, sunshine cutting down the north side of Market, the man on the bike arguing with the guy from the store that sells cheap Giants t-shirts and Raiders hats. The store guy demands his money, and the man on the bike, his mouth full of sandwich, replies, If you want to make a claim against my estate...
From him to my morning run, past the store with its doors open and drop cloths and ladders and two men in white coveralls with paint rollers, past another runner and a morning-shifter with his lunch in a paper bag. The guy in street-person clothes: layers and layers, short over long and all mud and dark colors. He startles at the sound of my feet slapping pavement behind him, his shoulders relaxing when his eyes dial in. It's still pitch black in the canyon of downtown, but when I get home, the sky is pale out my window.
It's been early spring for a week, and a girl in a pink, one-shouldered sundress steals my breath. I watch her where she sits in the cafe, her bare feet jiggling over her flip-flops, wide mouth open and smiling at what she reads, her awareness of her own beauty, bare shoulder an aching reminder of better worlds hidden somewhere in her curling hair, in the blades of grass outside.
The sun has shone and I've worn skirts and walked until I was browner than a week in Mexico, but tomorrow the rain is back. Tomorrow is Monday, and work, and maybe dishes, maybe a morning run along shining wet sidewalks.