A humble man sat
Reeking of loneliness.
It hung on his clothes,
Weighed his soul,
He smelled of packed sweaters
And gathering mold.
Drained his eyes gray,
Leaked into him deep
And colored his face
With longing and need.
A conversational hypochondriac.
A place he is seen.
Where his name is called.
Where he greets the fresh meat.

A porcelain woman sat
Glued pale remains.
A jigsaw configuration
Cracked with insecurities
And other stains.
It chimed in her bracelets,
Clipped in her speech,
She smelled of money
And leather seats.
Validation painted
Under nails done neat.
The dirt resting safely in her bones.
Chewing through stone.
Dirt that calls for a diagnosis and a call home.

An unformed child sat
Viciously unsure.
He hid under desks.
He hid inside drawers.
In the back of closets
Where vacuums couldn’t reach.
Where his father and uncles wouldn’t
Notice the seep.
He withdrew into himself,
Passing time
Until college and knowledge,
The unwinding of the sublime.
When he’s ready and able
He will come out to his friends
And hold another man’s hand
With vows till the end.

She held the door open,
Black hair pulled back,
Robed in blue authority
Scrubs, adjusting her facemask.
Trying hard not to breathe
The same air.
She calls out their names,
Rhymed them one by one.
Hits the sanitation pump
Seeing them through.
Inhaling the alcohol
Drying into her hands.
Reminding her of the buried
Bottles, the sound of tumbling glass
Into the recyclables.
Her mouth waters
Even through cotton.
She twists her fingers into her pants
Afraid they will know,
Afraid of being


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