Waiting for the Number 52

Fuck her, fuck him, and fuck his mother,

she says into the phone as her child
flaps with excitement. He is holding
on to a jam doughnut.

He spends a few seconds tearing at it
and squeezing out the jam. He dabs
it against his smile.

And he isn’t just happy,
I tell myself, he’s carefree.

As the bus approaches,
he looks up at me all wide-eyed
and grubby. He waves his tiny
hand in my direction.

I give him an indecisive smile.

I swear I knew him once.