We love strangers because we invent their lives.
We decide who they are when they’re alone:

which shoe they put on first in the morning,
who they think of before they fall asleep,

whether or not they’ve given up
on the world. As I walk Market Street this afternoon,

I’m inventing lives for everyone—
all the women walking around like tiny moving

unknowable temples. The streets are lined
with temples! San Francisco is a holy city

and I’m walking through it like a pilgrim.
Oh, these temples are alive and their holiness

some small secret they carry like a memory they’re
not sure really happened. But that’s how everything

is, isn’t it? We love to swim in our
own non-specific nostalgia as we lie in bed

at night, one foot in our dreamworld and the other
in the sheets—the quiet hum of it troubles me.