The air is sharp,
Cutting through me like a knife.
My coat flaps in the night air,
As if it wants to escape my body.
It seems a little colder, on nights like these.

Red lights flicker around
Scanning the buildings in their glow.
The darkness of the alley is a barrier,
Separating me from the chaos within.
Chaos grows strong on nights like these.

I walk forward,
Boots crunching on the gravel,
Alerting the rats to my presence
As they squeal into the dark.
Do they enjoy nights like these?

I freeze at the form beneath me
Motionless, I almost didn’t see it.
A foul odor breaks the silence,
Reminding me why I’m here.
Blood runs fresh on nights like these.

I reach for my flashlight
And bathe her in its glow
She lay in a dark pool,
As dark as the scene before me.
As dark as nights like these.

I scan for evidence,
As naturally as eating breakfast;
Motives, motives are what I need,
Who, What, When, and Why?
Questions go unanswered, on nights like these.

I snuff out the light
Hopefully as fast as hers was snuffed.
I crunch back to my car,
Out to make the dreaded call.
One too familiar on nights like these.

I hang up once I’m done;
I’m like a kid with a used puzzle box,
Knowing I’m short a few pieces
I can’t make the full picture.
And there are no clues on nights like these.

Sadly, she won’t be the last
This city wears death proudly,
Like a badge of honor.
And I’m just the janitor.
That’s why, I hate nights like these.
Tristan Moenter is a sophomore biology major. He says, “I come from a military
background so I don’t really have a hometown; the last place I lived in before moving
here was Lakenheath, England. I’ve always had an interest in writing, when I’m not too
busy playing video games.”