down the block

He’s sitting on an upturned milk crate, drinking coffee from a mug. He raises it in greeting. The incongruity of the street perch and the kitchen cup pull a grin out of me. He shakes his head. “A man could look at a smile like that for the rest of his life,” he says. I stop a moment. I like the look of this one. He’s got some Cherokee around the eyes, a lullaby voice, the rangy arms of a swimmer. He rocks a little on the milk crate, then holds out the mug. “Want a sip?” I’m late for work, the air is thick as a swamp. I laugh, and keep walking.

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