“These are the streets I live on,
bitch,” the homeless man says, raising
his first through the fog of his breath.
He speaks to no one in particular,
it seems. He looks out in the direction
of all of them: the businessman in his
parked car dialing his mistress’s number,
the two college students finding
each other’s hands as they walk out of
the abortion clinic, the third grader dumping
pit her pitcher of unsold lemonade into the snow.
Perhaps the man speaks to all of them.
Perhaps he speaks to me, the sixteen year old
down the street with his hands in his pockets,
showing nothing to see. But perhaps he really
does speak to no one, because he turns back
inside the shelter without waiting for a response.
Yet he never lowers his fist.