Today on my way to work by Regina Tingle

I saw a tall woman in beige pants 
in wire-rimmed glasses drawing an imaginary map 
on a Siena-dirt colored wall.  
She drew the map for a shorter woman in a white shirt 
who leaned slightly forward: 
as if slightly leaning-in might render 
the imaginary, invisible lines and round-abouts visible.  
The woman drawing the map could very clearly see 
what she was doing, 
where she was going.  
So deep was she into the compass of her imagination 
she could not bear to leave that place in her head 
that actually does exist on a road 
somewhere she wasn’t right then 
to step back onto the cobble-stoned street 
where she actually was
in that particular moment 
to see that the woman in white 
hadn’t the slightest clue 
where the tall woman 
in brown pants 
had taken her. 
I felt sorry for them both, relieved to be neither
–they were both just as lost as the other; 
in their imaginary imaginations–
one while giving directions, the other trying to understand them.
I then saw a man carrying a lime-green bag, 
one of those bags you can buy from the supermarkets for one euro.  
He wore a chambray shirt and jeans and walked quickly 
enough for my attention to be drawn to his shoes–soles worn thin on the heels.*
I had a hunch he was not normal.
He pushed his hand back over his shaggy, greasy hair. 
Then he punched the air in front of him.
The Zen-man who sells leather wares wore his ponytail pulled taught.  
We never say hello or good morning nor is there a need for such formalities–
I pass him every day in the same silly rush,
making my mad five-minute dash from home to office.
*I once lost my sole while putting away my grocery cart.  It came off my boot,
the heel to be exact, 
and I felt grateful for knowing the difference 
between two words that sound exactly the same.  
For I had lost my sole, not my soul.   

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