Very Fine People

And I am
walking in faith

on my way to shul
trying to see
everything at once.

Drivers’ smeared features,
hands on steering wheels, looking over
my shoulder,

very fine people everywhere

can’t see my every fiber clenched,
twitch musculature tight
as a drawn bow

even before they’ve got

me sprawled,
shot on the sidewalk,
EMTs hovering over me,
angels in orange jumpers,

I want to tell them I still
I still I still can breathe,

I want to tell them, I plead
still they still me,

don’t let me go staring into the sun —
I want to see what’s coming
all at once,
my love’s name on my lips,
and the traffic blows by

like none of this could ever happen
while I watch

the opposite of light
lope toward me
with menace,
hands hidden in pockets.

This bridge is narrow —

very fine
people on both sides
on the abyss.

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Photo by Michael Dawes.