This is what it is to be homeless

Stone-sure sureness eradicated

Released to the streets

No longer sheltered by sheer resolve

Binging on carbohydrates and dreams

Crashing on those empty calories

No protein for strength

Drinking water from a rusty bathroom sink

This is what it is to feel winter

To feel it in the bones

True winter

The kind that leaves you curled

In a tiny ball

In a doorway

Without a blanket.

No arms wrapped'round you to stop the shivering.

No arms willing to get within five feet

Of your unbathed soul

As if it were contagious


This is what it is to move forward

Toward nothing in particular

Without a mirror in your grocery cart

To primp for the people who pass you by

Shaking their heads

No mirror

Just your reflection in the window

Of the store where you are squatting

This is what it is to wander

To be disconnected 


To have to call up some dried-out faith

In order to tell the shelter worker

That you are alive

That you have family somewhere

That you are not homeless

Just traveling for a while



I dreamed you

Before you were born

Before I grew up myself

Before I knew that love could be

As soft

And sweet

And as ordinary as talcum power

Or bedtime stories

Or capital letter I LOVE YOU notes

Slid under my door


I dreamed you

Before I ever fell in love

Just so I would know what to expect

When love fell on me

The first time I felt you

And, now, when I open the door

To pick up that note

Natural Order


This is not the natural order of things

You, tear-filled, sniffling in the corner

Your tail tucked, your feelings injured

Me, coolly observant

Arms crossed, head cocked curious

My psyche floating somewhere near the ceiling

Your constantly injured feelings

You hurt me when you said this

When you did that; when you didn't do this or that

I am purplexted, I am confused

I am finding it hard to keep track of the dids and didnt's

Hard to latch onto which word or absence of words

Triggers which reaction, linked to which deep-seeded childhood wound

That you cannot shoot in the head and bury

And which I am told I should love you enough

To avoid at all costs

Sometimes I would like to do it for you

Shoot your inner-child in the head and bury him

So that you can mourn and rip your clothes and move on

But that sounds cruel and uncaring

As if, if I loved you, I wouldn’t think such things

Usually I don't think such things

Instead my thoughts swim around in the muck of my own making

Searching for connection to the sad little boy who is still you

Finding instead, the anxious little girl who was me

In a coffin, with a lily between her hands

Dead and almost buried


This is not the order of things,

You, brilliant self-loathing waiting to be freed

But unable to untether the scapegoat around your ankle

Me, resting in the silence that finally, finally put old hurts to rest

Me standing at the funeral of my little girl wounds

Waiting for you to take up residence in the plot next to mine.



Perhaps if I howl at the moon

And follow my tail in circles

Like a new bitch in heat

The scent of my feral attitude

Will rise up

And float through the air

Light and strong

Far enough to reach

Some hungry hound

Too weak to ignore it.