yellow loafers

The woman on the corner in the short skirt and ripped stockings helped me wash my knees in the sink after the businessman in the navy suit cut too wide for his narrow frame didn’t care to see me,
and the woman on the corner in the thick eyeliner and cracked heels helped me wrap my hands in scarves when they’d started to turn blue after the corner store owner in the heavy wool sweater didn’t want me scaring away his invisible customers,
and the woman on the corner in the low blouse and heavy necklaces helped me carry my sister to the sidewalk after the taxi driver in the scuffed brown loafers saw yellow and thought green, 
and I’ve watched the women on the corner fade and disappear and die and no one looked for their bodies and no one went to their funerals and no one even noticed that their corners were empty for a day or two
‘til another woman on the corner appeared and she wore a short black skirt and her stockings were ripped above the knee
and her eyeliner was thick to hide the bags under her eyes and her heels were cracked where the glue had failed 
and her blouse showed more than she had and her necklaces were a rope hanging her by the beam of busy people with busy lives 
and she helped me dry my hair with paper towels after the construction worker in the neon vest poured lukewarm coffee over my head and laughed with his mates.