the streets at night

Some people
think I ride my
bike at night

through dark
unwelcoming
streets because

I just
don’t
know any
better

or because
I just
don’t care.

I ride
my bike
at night

through dark
streets
because

of the old
man who
tosses me
a smile
and a
“be safe”

because of
the woman
who just
finished a
ten-hour
shift and
waits for
the bus
alone

because of
the guy
riding his
bike to start
a graveyard
shift while
his family
sleeps at home

I ride because
the night
has energy

because there
are lives
happening

because
I care

and because
when you ride
at night
through streets
that you don’t
expect
to be
welcoming

you can find
that
they can be.

That’s not
to say
I forget
the danger,

that’s not
to say
I forget
the threat

It is to say
I refuse
to give up
on the night

It is to say
I refuse
to let fear
keep me
from a
chance
to connect

even if it’s
only for
a split second.