She peels off her day, slip, brassiere, panties, layers
nurtured for an audience. At the open window she strips
off nylons, the cross at her neck, flings hairpins
onto her bureau then leans naked over the sill,
and stares down into the city. In its bat blackness and stark
white lights, blinking, she balls up her stockings and takes aim.
Below, a man snatches a sheer-dangled
leg, rips the ghost of her foot as it catches
on the dumpster's open gap.
He sniffs the remnants of her ordinary day;
ankles crossed under a desk, imagined feet clacking
on pavement as she runs. She wears a pink scarf flared
at the throat as she tries to make the bus, her heel slipping
in and out of her toe.
This man has stumbled across the history of a woman's foot
scribbled to the quickened draw of his lip,
upward to nostril.
His pulse quickens as she turns out the light.