man's shadow on sidewalk

In Medias Res

If a man is walking along my street
in early morning hours and appears
to cross into a neighbor’s yard
but really he is following the sidewalk
along the corner. If the man is young.
If his jacket is zipped all the way.
If he’s not wearing a jacket. If the man
has a dog. If the dog is large. If the man
is carrying a leash but there is no dog.
If the man is running. If the streets
remain bare. If the man glances
to where I sit, beneath the lit fixture
above my table. If the man waves.
If the man is brown. If he carries papers.
If those papers are signed. If there is
an envelope with a softworn edge
and a cancelled stamp. If the man carries
nothing. If the cuffs of his shirt are frayed
and the soles of his shoes are ground
so thin that he could maybe feel
autumn’s leaves layering beneath his feet.
If the man has long since stepped beyond
the tepid reach of sun’s dawning rays.