His wings rest at his feet.
His fists curl inside a brown paper bag.
The alert beak propped on his head
aims down the block into sidewalk pools
of streetlight. His red lips make plump
numbers. He has so much candy
the bottom bulges. A pumpkin arrives
on spindly orange legs, followed by
a skeleton crew of two with unkept
postures, baggy knees, and flaccid spines.
A ghost sidles up, his sheet belted,
a baseball cap holding sloppy eyeholes
in place. He hurries off with his posse
of short immortals, leaving the
wings where he stood.
The mother says, “Oh, look,”
disappointment as she brushes rubble
from feathers. She searches through streetlight
for her angel, holding the wings
so he’ll dig his arms through the straps,
shrugging on tonight’s beast.
Copyright © 2018 Amber Flora Thomas. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Spring 2018.