Just bitchin'

The Vapor Dancers

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Leonardo Da Vinci was fascinated by the changes night could bring.

He walked the streets at dusk, marveling at the beauty of the human face when bathed in twilight’s special grace. There was a muted loveliness denied the harsh illumination of the day.

It has always been so.

Things change at night. Stranger sights and seeming secrets feel freer to move among us. It’s one reason I follow Leonardo’s example, wandering after sunset, hoping to stumble upon lesser-known magic as it goes about its nightly routine.

But I never expected the Vapor Dancers.

I don’t know if this is a subculture or a single occurrence. I don’t know if they are called by another name, but to me…Vapor Dancers.

You’ll find them when the hour is late and the street deserted.

You’ll find them where plumes and columns of steam rise from manhole covers and vents.

The first one emerged from shadow, making a soundless way to the center of the street. Diaphanous fabric floated from her waist, pale and grey as fog. To the music of distant sirens, she approached the pillar of vapor where it escaped the city’s substructure, drifting upward as the breeze sculpted it into pleats and folds. Her arms rose in graceful imitation.

And then began what I can only call a dance.

Moving in silent harmony with the steam, she made it her partner. Then another, and another, and one more appeared, echoing the first’s performance.

But no city street is deserted for long. The dance lasted until a cab turned the corner, the sharp beams of its headlights interrupting, scattering, dispersing both dancers and steam.

I left, too. It was late, and this wasn’t my world. I was just a visitor who’d been treated to something strange and hauntingly beautiful.

Leonardo would have loved it.

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poem

Urbana

 

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When streetlights dim and pavement steams,
When passions peak and neon screams,
The urban fairy takes a chance
And breaks into her glamour dance.

As smokestacks turn the sky to red
And children are all sent to bed,
She leaves her lair and paints her skin,
Damp with fragrance sweet as sin.

Her laugh like chimes drifts on the night
Sometimes heard…almost…not quite.
It stirs the trash lying in the gutter.
Makes mortal hearts speed and flutter.

Her flight has sound that whines and shreds
And enters the dreams of those in bed.
A sleeping metropolis unaware
Of enchantment spun in polluted air.

Given the chance, she wouldn’t change
These concrete canyons with their magic strange.
She lifts her wings at a squad car’s lights,
She loves the wild city nights.

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