I felt the angel's warm breath
on the back of my neck
but it was just
the laundromat's exhaust.
I spun around hoping
for a guardian and found
a hopeful street walker instead.
There's not much salvation
to be had for fifty bucks,
cooking up a spoonful
or renting a body and a bed.
She said, do you have a date?
and let go of the nubby knee length coat
that she clutched at her throat.
Underneath, her dress
barely reached her thighs.
I already have one, I lied.
trying to hide my naivete and pride.
If I'd listened to my body
and not the fires in my head,
I would have received a lesson
about the fusion of two warm bodies
instead of Teller's cold vision
of fission products and isotopes,
countdowns, kilotons, trajectories,
and the price of primo Afghan dope.
I said, I'm just waiting for my bus.
She just smiled and replied,
Sure honey, but if it don't work out,
I'll be right here to take you inside.
But the ride I was on took longer,
and the breath that I felt
was no angel's but mine.