The punch clock rings like a tumor
as he steps into the late afternoon light.
The boarded-up windows hang like terrible
hangovers while plastic bags, soda cans,
cardboard boxes litter the sidewalks.
Mick Jagger screams I Can’t Get No
Satisfaction from someone’s broken window.
Chevrolets parked along broken fences
and graffiti walls. Teenagers watch him
trudge by. Heads down, parents exhausted
from their 9-to-5’s at factories and hospitals.
The little children stop running and screaming,
stare at this man in his sweat-stained shirt,
fascinated momentarily with his acned face,
then return to their hide-and-seek game.
He crosses the street. A car screeches
to a stop. The driver sticks her head out
the window cursing, one hand pressing
the steering wheel, the other holding up
a middle finger. But the man ignores her,
turns a corner, and disappears into a boarding
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