Like a charcoal drawing, the foggy
backdrop of 8th and Avenue A
is smudged. Another of God’s mean
tricks scrawls across a brick wall.
Finally, the sky opens at dusk.
Wearing a suit of white plastic bags,
a woman crouches like a clenched
fist. I look away. An old man’s darkened
hands fondle lace over the battered zinc
lid of a garbage can. Another, crumbled,
bent, sports a polished, empty
shoe beside his head. I think
he’s dead but the closer
I come there’s a slow, bass
humming and then a She’s
gone an lef’ me rises
out of him and catches
like a needle at a scratch.