From The Fertile Streets

In the arms of the city they are held; gravity does not touch them, nor any sharp-tongued words. They sprint across bridge railings, leap from rooftops, dance sure-footed on corbels. They are the city’s twin children, and the city loves them, and their names are Sun and Rain. These names they gave themselves.

Sun is round-faced and a thief. Rain is underfed and loves to sing. Rain is tone-deaf, and Sun is not, which causes her much pain. It’s a little pain, like falling asleep during summer vacation. They sleep curled up around each other, in cardboard boxes, on tarry rooftops, in green bowers of tree branches. They go hungry most days, except when Sun has stolen something good. The city loves them, but parking meters and streetlamps grow little food.

Today they are in the park, chasing pigeons off the statues. Rain perches for a moment on the arched neck of a horse. She leans forward and kisses the cool metal lips of the rider, and he slowly turns to her, blinks blank eyes and watches her. “Hello,” she says.

He screams, the mindless shriek of an unhappy newborn, and she bursts into the air, arms spread as wide as any pigeon’s.