On the Street Today
In a rubble-strewn gutter, the detached bucket of a power shovel, big enough for me to crouch in, crusted with pale dirt. Like a severed hand. You feel someone should report it to the police.
Propped on a stout street girl's thighs, as she sits cross-legged, is a sheet of cardboard. Scrawled on it in black felt pen:
but compassion doesn't
Her head droops: I can't tell if she's asleep or awake.
By a light rail stop is a pack, a patched sleeping bag, and some other well-worn road gear. I'm puzzled to find the owner, for a moment, but then I spot him in front of the glossy brass nameplate of a store. He's iron haired, dirty, and cadaverous. He's using the reflection, anxiously examining a pimple on his cheek.