The beggar woman on the corner held a sign that said:
"Dance Teacher, laid off, anything helps."
And in the 60 seconds my car sputtered indignantly beside her,
I watched the feral lines in her face
I imagined her skin was soft, and unobtrusively without confession
Swaddled in a thin gray sweater,
That she threw this on, as she walked into the sharp Autumn air
Veiled in a gleaming burst of creativity.
Her body warm from her feet dragging across the floor
To the songs I secretly like
I ponder shamefully
How many pliés, and twirls and graceful arches with her arms
were made before tripping onto this corner?
Gossiping mouths of freeway on-ramps
That become our living rooms, kitchens and halls.
I love her anyway
When spectators throw dollar bills instead of roses
Out of cocoons
that smell of white mochas