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The Rainwalkers

 An old man whose black face
shines golden-brown as wet pebbles
under the streetlamp, is walking two mongrel dogs of dis-
proportionate size, in the rain,
in the relaxed early-evening avenue.
The small sleek one wants to stop, docile to the imploring soul of the trashbasket, but the young tall curly one wants to walk on; the glistening sidewalkentices him to arcane happenings.
Increasing rain.
The old bareheaded man smiles and grumbles to himself.
The lights change: the avenue's endless nave echoes notes of liturgical red.
He drifts between his dogs' desires.
The three of them are enveloped - turning now to go crosstown - in their sense of each other, of pleasure, of weather, of corners, of leisurely tensions between them and private silence.

by Denise Levertov
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