You step into a rush
      hour street. Your handbag
drops a random mess.

      The asphalt glistens
with its flaws. Lipstick
      and tissues, bronzer,

blush; now busted,
      all the issues you've kept
pursed get sprawled

      about—bright pills
and pendants bent
      lopsided, stuck in tar.

A stoplight's blinking
      curses. Nobody crosses.
Catcalls and shouts,

      as if a hazmat spilled.
Your life collapsing;
      cars veer past potholes—

then baffle into knots
      of traffic. Flares starburst
scatter in the atmosphere.

The city unmaps you
      every which way. If
you stand on the side

      -walk. If you pick up
your makeup. Trucks
      flashing and fractured.

You totter and backtrack,
      searching for a wad of cash,
a shiny rubber. Your body

is shaking. A crowd
      has converged to stare,
staring through you.