Sarah Ito is a published novelist, essayist, poet and actor. An army veteran, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
HORIZONTAL IN A VERTICAL WORLD
Just got paid, three hundred dollars.
Next to the bodega, a storefront,
Windows plastered with shabby banners...
"Funds Wired to Mexico and Pakistan."
A line overflows the check-cashing joint,
Day laborers, brown and black, speaking the language of staccato,
Delivery system of services to a vertical world.
Within, the pungent reek of curry, the stench of work...
A clerk, burly, disinterested,
Sits behind an inch of glass, sliding damp Benjamins
through a slot that separates him from his customers.
Huge silver pistol lies on the counter next to him,
A wall of cigarette cartons looms above.
Grape soda, a pack of Newports,
A fistful of folding money,
No longer exhausted from the week gone by,
The workers mobilize, energize...
Lured by a promise of barstool women and bottom-shelf vodka,
An electric bill paid...
Friday, the night is endless, the day laborers awake.
Saturday, broke and broken.
Sunday, a climb up four flights of stairs
Residing in shadow
©2017. Sarah Ito. All rights reserved.
POTLUCK AT THE AIDS HOSPICE