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  • On Monday
    the light at the corner of Wenning and Rigel was out.

    in the dark I could see the lights
    taxis and busses grinding up from George Storror and others swooping down the hill

    I still looked both ways
    Habit

    I looked left (up)
    Then right (down)

    Habit

    A security truck crept along the side road
    it swung its headlights side to side
    Scanning, scouting
    Like a bloodhound sniffling along

    The beams picked out a stop sign bent flat to the ground
    a light pole canted to a crazy angle
    kinked 6 feet above the ground

    pavement scraped and ripped
    glittering

    and heaped about
    mounded and stacked
    flowers,
    fresh flowers,
    plastic wrappers sparkling
    above them sign
    taped to the pole


    I remembered Friday.
    I would have been almost home.
    The last turn,
    my turn,
    the corner of Wenning and Rigel.
    I had to drive to Jo’burg and so I waited late at work,
    drove with the radio for company,
    listened with half an ear,
    An accident at Main and Francis Ribiero.

    My attention was on the Friday afternoon rush hour tapestry of lights
    I didn’t think
    Francis Ribiero was Rigel before the season of name changes
    Main changes to Wenning at the intersection

    Names do that, change at intersections
    Come to the crossroads on one road,
    leave on another road.
    Lines in space,
    lines in time,
    at the point of intersection things change.

    I pulled over,
    Stepped out
    The security guards got out of their truck
    Helmets under their arms
    Bulletproof vests
    Bulging holsters
    Strapped across chest and thigh


    In the headlights,
    around the crumpled pole
    we read the sign

    To Our Beloved Teacher


    Three of us,
    heads bent,
    an hour before dawn,
    at a single point
    where so many lines
    intersect before
    carrying on with new names.

    Three of us,
    at the corner
    of the cross roads,
    on the edge of morning.

    Three of us between
    here and there
    now and then
    before and after.
    Three, together for a moment,
    at a point
    then, in lines,
    moving onward
    from the cross roads of Main and Francis Ribiero.
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