I have wandered into alien territory.
An albino transvestite asks if I know
the world as we know it has ended.
He is framed by two homeless women
swaddled beside ragged dogs
within filthy blankets.
A toothless musician sits upon
a plastic bucket, rattles Starbucks cups
filled with percussive pebbles.
“I am soooo screwed up,”
the chick with dilated pupils falling
out of a passing pedicab announces.
Fish mongers hawk slabs of halibut,
pink salmon cadavers.
The hulking black guy dressed
as a turquoise tyrannosaurus
twists red and green balloons
into improbable animals.
I cross the intersection,
am accosted by an activist
clutching a clipboard.
He rants about the injustices
wreaked by a corrupt legal system.
The buffed bike cop arrives on cue,
clears a swath to permit passage
of cash wielding tourists.