Two dozen bodies lay in duct-tape-patched nylon sleeping bags atop cardboard folded for padding against the pebbled, cigarette-butt-and-bottle-cap-littered earth. Empties were discarded around the sleepers, duffels and packs were torn open, contents spread in the dark, waiting to be gathered at first light. Animal tracks wound around the packs and the bedding; a stray dog had been sniffing around last night. Above was the roar of automobiles on a crumbling freeway, so dilapidated and overdue for resurfacing you could glimpse through cracks the sooty undercarriage of cars passing overhead; and higher, on reinforced pylons straddling the old road, was the elevated skyway, one of the new toll roads that whisked the wealthy from mansions to airports. Smog rose in crowning layers and somewhere up there, presumably, was blue - had to be - though most days you saw only brown smudge.
- From The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfeld