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By Richard King Perkins II


Street dweller

Where does it hurt
when cardboard walls collapse
in a sodden pile around you,
snuffing the candle
soaking a scrounged meal
and your only change of rags?


Where does it hurt
when city rain is the cleanest thing
that’s happened to you
in seventeen months on the street
and lovers on the sidewalk laugh,
swinging arms together,
catching droplets on their tongues
while you cart your chosen scraps
through blind alleyways
seeking semi-permanent shelter?


Why is someone’s respite
always another’s ache
and some things so easily washed away
while other malignancies remain
which the purest effluence
will never penetrate?


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