28 March 2011


The woman came sobbing
through the clothing store,
vomiting grief into her phone,
pushed through the throng,
and vanished into the afternoon.
But the source of her anguish -
an unexpected death,
harsh words of a lover -
really, we preferred to speculate.
We finished our coffees.
Clerks folded t-shirts.
Traffic waited at the light.

Did she sob on the subway, then
get off at Times Square?
Did only children risk
looking at her?
If only she had collapsed
right then and there,
we might have rushed to her side,
held her hand, and waited
for the ambulance
while people all around us,
clutching the so dearly bought,
hurried on their way
to that place we never share.


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