Block after block there is a man.
presenting a brown-stained
Steadfast, I must look straight.
creating the illusion that
I have somewhere important to go.
The air between me and the cup and the hands and the man
compresses in my brain.
Like the air in the cylinder of a diesel engine
right before spontaneous combustion.
My hands silence any loose change.
As I pass, glassy brown eyes ask “what’s up?”
A downdraft washes over me.
I can only respond “not much”
attempting to retract my arrogance.
Gunmetal blue buildings
glare down at me.
My hands remain in my pockets
still gripping the coins.
Cold to the touch.
Copyright © James Graham