Burning eyes’re pried open.
Gangly limbs dang near rigor mortis
Muster themselves from hibernation,
Grateful for the sunrise.
May God damn that midnight chill,
A ridiculing cold that erodes
An already dying soul.
Ears street-trained for threats
Tune-in to the dejected trudge
Of convicts picking up trash
Along the highway;
My only company today
Yet none of them acknowledge me.
I’m beneath them.
The existential frost’s shaken off
To strum a beat-up, five string acoustic
Guitar filled with rocks and leaves
(Don’t ask why. It’s my homeless thing.)
For insults and change ‘til a cop
With a chip on his shoulder
Complains I’m loitering.
On to the next spot.
Dumpster-dives behind McDonald’s,
Plenty of scraps to go around & feed
Some stray, terribly chatty calicos.
You’re not alone, my furry amigos.
Later on, shoplift a bottle of wine.
No corkscrews. Break the neck
Open right on the pavement,
The broken shards all too similar
To my morale as they’re
From a leaky bridge
Soggyin’-up my cardboard bed.
Have t’dry it out in the morning,
& remember t’catch a little bit
Of rain water in a dingy party cup
For brushing my teeth too.
No moon tonight,
Only the drunken croon
Of my harmonica.
Hopefully someone, somewhere’ll
Hear its lonesome tune, and there it’ll stay, Etched into their dreams—
A little piece of me.
No one to converse with either,
So I chat with myself, contrive tales
Of all the extraordinary things I’ll do…
Other times, I’ll just jibber-jabber
With ghosts, exchanging theories of life
I wish I could share with anyone.
Despite this hell, despite this hell,
I think I’m doing pretty well… At least
That’s what I must convince myself
As the headlights of the passing cars
Dance off the concrete walls—
My own personal light show—
And the familiar rumble
Of their tires overhead softly
Rocks me to sleep.
*featured in the 85th issue of Drunk Monkeys*