At Night

I walk with closed eyes.
Mini-vans with stickers saying Baby on Board
pull up beside me, not for me
for the women I don’t see
standing in cigarette smoke
grinding butts with high heel shoes
trying to remember the candies
their grandmothers gave them as children.
They are nothing like children.

Street-light makes this city a shallow ghost of itself.
A man splashes glass from an empty bottle
across the sidewalk like tears.
Last January, someone’s body
froze to a statue on this side of the street.

A sexless voice yells something.
It could be thank you
but probably isn’t.
And a cop car drives past with lights on.

There are kids that will rob you for your jacket
and shoot you for your shoes.
There are drunk drivers and dump trucks.
The elderly have hooks instead of eyes,
but worse are those mothers, locked safe in the suburbs
who judge this city for its failures.

Jane Ozkowski