Gods of the street

I love women on the corners whom I fear to touch, and the extremity of their beauty which is full of pain. I nod to strangers, knowing that two fifths of them are angels in disguise. I recognize the street sweeper. He has mastered humility, and this has made him great. I give any money that I have to children and beggars. Who is more innocent? Who is more powerful? The businessmen, the shoppers, they sacrifice everything. Pensioners who spend the widow’s mite. Retired soldiers who saw everything but don’t want to talk about it. Buskers who give their souls to fill the air with beauty in all kinds of weather. Porters, deliverymen, paperboys who give their bodies and the soles of their boots. Young men and women walking from door to door, distilling hope from shadows. Artists, too, who are on the prowl, with open eyes and empty pockets. I love them because they don’t care about their appearances. And I love the poets who drink at outdoor cafés. They might have had careers in sales, but they were wise enough to refuse their uncles’ offers.