and i’m sitting on an
elevated sky train platform
eating a sandwich

below the people sit on the street 
drink and play music
as the trash men
collect trash

the working girls sit around 
legs crossed 
one heel 

they sit and wait as the men
pass by, pass by, 
and pass by

they sit there showing leg
saying the same phrases
over and over

about a block away 
a door man is tipped  
while an elevator rises 
and falls again

a plane passes overhead
and four people 
look up

as the plane moves into the distance
a rat and a dog square off
both suspended in their 
battle rituals

men stand on the corners counting 
their money, swallowing 
their ethics, and sweating

the birds start their song
and i stand up and begin 
walking toward my room

i move onto the street 
and look ahead
as it all passes away 
into the strange space we call

Joseph Osel is a writer.