It was one of those sultry nights
in Corpus Christi, it was
sometime after four a.m.
I guess that is how I got into the habit
of waking at this hour.
The Cool Mist water air conditioner
rattled outside, and did little
in the way of relief.
My cigarette would put a little
glow in the dark each time
I took a drag.
I pulled my Levis on and slipped
my dirty canvas shoes over bare feet
and stepped outside.
I lived on Fulmer Street so I was able
to hear the surf gently massaging
the sand beside the sea wall on
There is only one way to
to cool down tonight.
This cigarette deserves to die
in a dark alley.
Carefully and quietly I rolled the Harley
out of the shadow created by the street
light north of my garage apartment.
If I coasted to the base of the hill,
I wouldn't wake the neighbors
when I kicked it over.
I just kind of idled along in second
gear so I could make a breeze,
and not disturb the seagulls standing
on one leg. They do that at night,
I don't know why.
I guess I was just the intermission to the
laughing seagull show.
The sprinklers were in full
bloom on the median strip out on
Ocean Drive. They always overflow
and leave trails of water across
the pavement that, when run over
by a fenderless front wheel
refreshes a rider with a mini-shower
to the face and bare chest.
I stopped at the park in the darkness,
shut off the Harley, sat on
the top back of a park bench
and lit a cigarette. It didn't
taste very good so I threw it
away, and never smoked again.
Nearby, the rocking of the
sailboats at the Yacht Club
made the rigging on the masts
ring and clap approval as the
faint glow of sunrise smiled
to the east of Corpus Christi Bay.
I must be honest, I had to look
up the correct spelling of the word,
William J. Karnowski
Author of "Pushing the Chain"