1. Caught on a side street in heavy traffic, I said to the cabbie, I should have walked. He replied, I should have been a doctor. 2. When can I get on the 11:33 I ask the guy in the information booth at the Atlantic Avenue Station. When they open the doors, he says. I am home among my people.

From How Charlie Shavers Died and Other Poems by Harvey Shapiro, published by Wesleyan University Press. Copyright © 2001 by Harvey Shapiro. Used with permission. All rights reserved.