Darkness Comes Sooner This Christmas

Darkness comes sooner in the skid row

This Christmas, this season of cardboard

Boxes for a regal manger, for a house.

Darkness comes sooner, darkness arrives.

On the streets on Hill, Main, the Grand,

On the busy boulevards that brag about

Diamonds in every carat and kind you want,

Darkness comes there sooner as well, sooner

As the evenings wear on more wearily

Afraid of thieves and fear, wary as well

Of this Christmas coming sooner in winter

Before the freezing fall is over, done,

Before the gems of gold gain their luster,

Capitalize on the sentiment of giving

More and having more and showing more

To mean love and respect and grandeur.

We hold the hand of time a bit, just a bit

In these places of worship for the capitalist,

He who has come to conquer the heart of love,

One defined according to how the dark days

Come to soon, sulk on the sullen streets,

Sad too like those shopping for sorrow on

Window sills and showcases: the dirt man,

He with with cardboard stacks on the corner;

His partner, a ladybag, her face

The color of bygone Christmasses

Without the accidents and decor,

Her countenance the absence of grief,

Or the forgetting of the clear days

In order to turn the hand of time,

Turn it backwards, one more hour late

Of hoping for more hyped happiness,

Delay a little more, one more time, more,

Once more, this Christmas coming too soon

Its ticking coming too fast, and the night

Comes, possess the last light in this chorus

Of crude lies: a truth for the rich,

Those who go home to the gated hills,

Sip their espresso close to the hearth,

Think of the contour of the dirt man,

Imagine the untold capacity of the lady bag

To desire the stones, the metals, the cache

Of possibilities, infinite as ever, ever

For a differing, deferring Christmas.

In the meantime, the dirt man spreads

His mat of cardboard, a minimalist covering

From the cold, an architecture of home

The ladybag completes with a cloth roof.

Aurelio S. Agcaoili

Nov. 25, 2004

Fullerton, CA, while attending a thanksgiving day

party of turkey and laughter

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