June 10, 2022

after William Edouard Scott’s Rainy Night, Étaples

Why, on this night of shiver and hunch, are so many 
                  trudging these river-y streets of small cafés

and darkened shops, all of us hugging ourselves
                  for warmth, watching our feet crush neon sheets

into tides that flood the pavement creating a strange
                  museum of stained-glass scenes that break

like waves against grates and curbs, then re-cohere
                  until it seems that, under the unrelenting pour,

we, too, might dissolve again and again and yet
                  be redeemed by the steady spill that laves

our flesh and jewels our shoes—reminding us 
                  (we’ve always known) that we are the poor

who are always with us—though tonight we are
                  ravishing, drenched in riches?