Empathy

I am so afraid to let go and let in:
the sky turning to ash;
wind of melting ice;
rain about to fall;
smell of burning plastic;
knocking pistons
peppered by blowing horns;
tears of a street urchin —
in his hand, a chip of hollow block —
a bigger chip
in the hands of a bigger urchin
laughing at him;
the slight unnerving touch
of a beggar woman —
straw hat, blue sweaty shirt,
quilted skirt —
face, a thousand years old.
I am so afraid of them.
They hold so much power.
They can swallow my guts whole,
make my brain explode to a million pieces.