The woman asks me for ten dollars – she demands it
I’m reluctant, standing in a pock-marked city,
but feeling pity for her, as she frantically talks
her eyes yellow like harvest moons
her voice shrieks like an urban banshee –
the realities of poverty and addiction,
the rich getting fatter off broken backs.
I reach into my wallet, hand her a ten-dollar bill
she hugs me + hurries away, vanishing into the night,
and as I walk home, I wonder if I’ll ever need to
ask for my ten dollars back
(Photo by Vitaly Taranov on Unsplash)
We are damnifacados: homeless, junkies,
people deem us less than human.
When you pass us on a hectic street, we’re resting with
backs to the wall asking for mercy, spare change –
you look away from our weathered faces,
we feel disgrace, in our soiled clothes, our tired eyes.
A teacher told my mother I’d join a cult –
that was in the ‘90s + twenty years later,
I was a recovery zealot, driving through
snowstorms to share my sorrows with
strangers, always thinking I was in danger,
fighting my impulses + a mind that
seemed to want me dead.
(Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash)
Okay, so I’ve become a bit of a Jason Isbell fanatic. Rachel can tell you that I listen to this Americana songwriter constantly, especially the song “Outfit.” I wanted to highlight one of Isbell’s songs off his new album that I connected with from the first time I heard it.
Where do those neighbors get their money?
They’re up late on weeknights, drinking beer,
playing games in the street – the young woman
has glazed eyes, she’s always stoned;
the boyfriend doesn’t have a care
in the world, in a world
where so many are dying
and a feeling of impending doom
clutches us by the throat.
(Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash)
Why come out of your cage
when it’s so cozy in here?
Don’t emphasize the warring world:
it will never change.
Sit in solitude – no one can reach you here.