At an intersection near my house

At an intersection near my house where a convenient store’s neon illuminates the sidewalk out front, an old man sits nearby, methodically smoking a cigarette down to its filter. I see him at all hours: sometimes in the morning as I pedal by on my route to work, but just as often at dusk as I walk to get groceries, the fiery red, lit end of his butt winking open and closed like a tiny eye from a distance. He sits in a way that does not suggest comfort, with his back to a telephone poll, knees drawn up against his chest with limbs splayed out to the side, the arm that shuttles the cigarette pivoting against his leg like a drawbridge being raised and lowered again. You can all but hear the squeaks of his ancient machinery as he drags deep and sinks lower into his pose. His eyes are fixed at an arbitrary point on the cement ten feet away, seeing something far beyond San Francisco.