Broughton Dr & Hillsborough St

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.