"O’Hara is known for a certain kind of elegy that arrives at its subject late, after tarrying in the meaningless, adjacent quotidian. And yet, read backward from the deaths at the end of 'A Step Away from Them' ('First Bunny died, then John Latouche, / then Jackson Pollock'), even the initial stray details of a New York street are impressed into elegiac service:
It’s my lunch hour, so I go
for a walk among the hum-colored
cabs. First, down the sidewalk
where laborers feed their dirty
glistening torsos sandwiches
and Coca-Cola, with yellow helmets
'Glistening torsos sandwiches': here devouring time makes sandwiches of the torsos, themselves sandwiched between the outer term of evanescence (sweat as it glistens) and the inner term (a sandwich as it gets eaten)."