In 2013 I saw burning streets
and violence natural and unnatural,
a city on fire.
I helped a man as old
as the three digit temperature
up the subway stairs
on my way to work
and each step took
ten heart beats.
The sweat became
our salvation as his charcoal
face sagged and showed no emotion.
His shaking cane gave no support
so I took his arm and led him above
steaming concrete into aching light.
I expected gratitude and received
none, which was better somehow
I walked through solidifying heat
and desired to keep the encounter
secret in order to appreciate
its value and yet I ruined
it by bragging in casual conversation
w/ a wealthy customer.
Just like that it didn’t matter
anymore like everything else
out in the open
our city’s setting sun.