outside the Nana tailor shop
sat a young man
no hands,
no feet,
no shade.

as i passed he put both stubs in
the prayer position and said
“suh-watt-dee - suh-watt-dee.”

his smile ran me over as he kept on:
“suh-watt dee - suh-watt-dee”
his stubs shaking with
unfounded hope.

as i passed him i nodded,
tried to look like i
even though
i didn’t and

then i walked back to my small room
and wrote it all down thinking that
one day i should stop
writing this stuff

but knowing that men with
no hands,
no feet,
no shade
and a smile the size of
the expressway
would never let
me get away
with that.

Joseph Osel is a writer.