You stood at an intersection directing
traffic and afterwards said you felt useful.
We paid for the coffee we drank standing,
shared a spoon. In a window
above you, a woman smoked a cigarette,
looking over the city into empty
space as if the horizon
was a drowsing lover she had tired of.
A boy crossing the street adjusted
a backpack on narrow shoulders.
A man in the crowd spoke
loudly to no one. His face
was a vandalized bicycle abandoned
with its lock. I woke beneath stairs.
Sometimes I see it from above.
The crumple zone that’s death
ripples like water toward me but stops.
You’re mixed with prepaid phone
cards and the phone card vendor.
Someone will have washed them off
so they can call home.