Crosstown Transfer

Ten minutes to cross town.

Ten minutes-worth of car exhaust and sewer stench, and mustard-stained, pretzel wrappers that rise in ghostly notes against the brownstones.

Ten minutes of peace.

Ten minutes where I hide under headphones and nothing plays but the city–the tenor sax born of screechy brakes; the chorus spills from a corner cafe; the distant drum beat of a jackhammer.

Ten minutes of solitude.

Ten minutes to plug in to nothing but the world. To slip the bill in a skeletal hand and trust it’s for lunch. To stand beside an expensive suit and pray he’ll give too. To have a prayer unanswered.

Ten minutes of silence.

Ten minutes to observe and there’s no place for words. Ten minutes to watch the graffiti, in bright pink and neon green, grow up the brick like vines. Ten minutes to feel alone.

Ten minutes to appreciate.

Ten minutes is all I need.

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