Living Downtown

Down here, the buses keep running,
the bellhops keep hopping,
and the tattooed messengers deliver packages
with a fury all their own.
Money speaks every language,
while the homeless, with the face of an avalanche
and eyes like spent pennies,
build shanties of tarp and cardboard boxes.
The sidewalks reek of urine.
ride their haunches and grin.
The buildings are full of life,
but they have no soul and crowd out the sunrise.
The pigeons, who would be poor if they had no feathers,
feast on scraps and human waist.
A horn blows every minute.
And you walk and walk, until someone smiles,
but you wonder if it’s a lie.
Then stopped for that exceptional moment,
you see your own reflection in a coffee shop window,
and all that rests inside is a blur.


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