by Patricia Ndombe
When I am hungry or sleepy,
I sit high in a building that towers
above a bustling, blinding street.
I watch other human beings walk
in and out of restaurants with locked arms. They have
plastic bags full of steamy take-out ripping onto the streets.
The rising steam is pregnant with egg roll, and vegetable taunts me
through thick glass. My stomach is more clamorous than
commute and chatter and it cries silently. I won’t listen anyway.
Neon vibes flashing red, yellow, and green float below me,
reminding me that I won’t be the only one who’s awake the
rest of the night.
I try to distract myself by counting the number of
cracks on each block of sidewalk, or I
pick at the smudges on my window.
I trace my finger over the bags of my throbbing eyes.
At least they are smiling.
My friends each have warm, stitched comforters to hug them tonight.
I must be either powerful enough or delusional enough to
see an ant stumble over fresh french fries on worn asphalt,
as if the ant had its own mountains to climb too.