Donald Moffett, “Lot 080711 (the radiant future),” from Come Together: Surviving Sandy
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In order to arrive at my workplace, I have to step over the bodies. You assume I’m exaggerating, but you did not go to my workplace, you did not step as I do, you may not have noticed. And if you did, why did we never speak of them? Of course, the bodies are not dead, some are nearly dead, some will soon be dead, some ask for help, some sneer, some sit with placards explaining why. Some are accompanied by dogs, others by babies. Once I stepped over a woman whose suitcase was open to reveal her belongings - nylons, underwear, a white eyelet blouse, a torn paperback. Passerby stared at the suitcase while stepping over the woman, coins dropped into a white metal cup next to a pair of black pumps. Some days I pass huge men made of dark bandages, planted on benches before thin trees. They have no requests. I walk by men who wear their souls on the outsides of their bodies. They speak to themselves in low, scratched tones, their voices evicted from their own minds. At last, the powdered woman in all white, saint and bride of my commute! Then at the threshold, three beached mammals piled against the brick. Father, what caught them in their throats, cast them to this sidewalk moat, the sea so far away?”
- From Homeless At Home
“the gates of mercy slammed on the right foot.