The knob is locked,
And the door shut tight.
I make sure of this before I turn
past the statue
of Saint Francis.

I hop up the stone steps
to get to street level.
A car comes quick
—you hear em before you see em.
I let it pass before I start
down the sidewalk
toward 7-11.

Another car passes,
opposite direction this time,
an old man goes home as I
head to work.

I wait for the signal to change
at a crosswalk, then I walk.
On the other side
there’s a shortcut I’ve been taking lately
—a jagged path down the dirt hillside.
The path’s quite steep and my shoes,
my shoes are slick and made for skating,
my laptop’s under my arm, and
the headphones are in.
When I slip, I fall
all the way back.

The angle isn’t much—
A mere forty-five degrees.
My free hand’s hits first,
then the middle of back;
my forearm falls flat
on the ground.

As I get up and pat myself off,
I hear someone laugh,
but can’t make out who—
perhaps it’s all in my headphones.

I walk off as if nothing happened, and
if you saw me just after you might
think I was just dusty

While I realize this:
There are shortcuts in life,
but sometimes they
dust you up.