Up the street he came,
down near the loading docks he went.
Mechanically, as if moved by wires.
Beside a rusted dumpster
Below the sweatshop with no doors he stopped.
Removed from bag a thin mat of thinning weave
Spread himself out on the sidewalk and began reciting Asr.
I watched his lips forming words,
lost to the sirens before reaching my ears.
I saw as he stood,
dipped his forehead to the ground.
I wished for the concrete beneath him to feel soft and forgiving.
I prayed for it to feel like sand.
And I don't know if he was there out of circumstance,
or why my chest hurt watching him
carving out a space for his faith
in a city built on fault lines.