by Ladan Osman
Tonight is a drunk man,
his dirty shirt.
There is no couple chatting by the recycling bins,
offering to help me unload my plastics.
There is not even the black and white cat
that balances elegantly on the lip of the dumpster.
There is only the smell of sour breath. Sweat on the collar of my shirt.
A water bottle rolling under a car.
Me in my too-small pajama pants stacking juice jugs on neighbors’ juice
I look to see if there is someone drinking on their balcony.
I tell myself I will wave.
About the Author:
Ladan Osman is a Chicago based poet, originally from Somalia.
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2010 by Ladan Osman, and reprinted by permission of the poet. Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation.