bummed a
cigarette from a man
with tattoos and Marlboros
he said I don’t need a quarter and I don’t smoke weed

                                                            and I felt ashamed

asked a lady at south
station for directions she thought
I was asking for change but sighed and said I’m looking for congress street too we walked together and she told me she ventured thirty miles into this
city on this sunny Friday afternoon
to do her taxes

and I wanted to hold my head under murky water until my ears rang with stillness

                                                                                                                                    I felt so ashamed

saw a woman in the public

gardens knee-deep in slush running like mad throwing

peanuts, searching for a he or she or it or them named pinky

saw her succumb to the snow as she started to wail

                                                                                                and I felt


by Emily Woods


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