“Now it’s even dirtier.” I added after the man
who had just asked
flipped his cigarette in from the bank.

During the days of maddening heat
I dipped to my neck in a river
carrying bathwater from old seeping factories
and streets
where thousands sleep

Another man sniffs from his window at the torrent
starting heavily, slowly
until a cold gale cracks the clouds

“The city needed to be washed.”