image from businessinsider.com
“Most people who appear heartless are just
protecting themselves from more pain.”
Homeless ain’t what it used to be.
too many families now--he thought,
lying on a bench in a tiny urban park,
staring up at lighted windows in many
apartments; his brown paper sack
wrapped around a tall bottle of
Thunderbird beside him.
Alcohol had ravaged his body,
destroying the vigor of yesterday,
attacking his weakened heart and
several other organs.
He tried not to blame her, but there was no
disputing that she had shredded his heart
more than a decade before. She lived in that
corner apartment on the third floor in the old
Chestnut Arms right across the street. He lie
there, his breath a ragged, fetid, malodorous
rasp beneath the brittle bones in his chest,
almost alive, but closer to being just a dried out
husk barely covering the rot within.
He was with Sadie now, who always
found a way for them to get wine--in
a crowded dangerous homeless camp
under the 410 freeway. She knew where
he was this Valentine’s Eve--below Kate’s
window, hoping to get a glimpse
of the brave woman who had once
loved him, booze & all. Their son
had died at three, and so did their
marriage. He had crawled inside a bellicose
battalion of brown bottles, She divorced him
& moved on to a new life. She had three kids
now, had married a carpenter.
Christ, a carpenter, He always chuckled when
he thought about it. He used to be a car sales-
man when he still had a life. His old patter, con,
smile & personality kept him out of trouble for
several years--but one dark morning he realized
all that had abandoned him too. Joy became a
dream bitch, not real, like all those young women
he saw on the streets. He became a thief,
a mugger &
There was this man he had robbed for thirty bucks
several years ago, who had been seriously injured.
His street name became Mac the Knife. He tried not
to think about it. He knew he wouldn’t last another
year--which released him from worry.
Broken hearts, like can-
cer, have their own agenda;
never a good time.
posted over at dVerse Poets Pub