people can smell desperation.
being social animals,
they pass the desperate by
sniffing in fear
this one has been cut off for some reason
a rotting limb
a toxic trash.
the desperate can be found
in the heart of the city
the pulsing downtown.
wherever people collect
so the desperate are drawn
driven to suck what they crave.
what society will not give freely
in the center of things,
yet humanity flows around them,
unwilling to touch.
in the center of things,
forever on the fringe.
for fear of exclusion.
because everyone knows
the stink of desperation
Humans shine brightest under pressure.
It’s not until we have a deadline
That we pick up our feet
It’s not until we get cancer
That we start to live
When the world is on the brink of dying
When the atmosphere is choking us
When the plants wither
When disease blooms
When we are all facing starvation
Then we will rediscover world peace
And the meaning of community.
We will see our clear place in the world
Through dying eyes.
Perspective will heal our greed
For one last generation.
I met a boy who’d been in a car accident
Part of his face was missing
He had one good eye.
This eye was pure warm brown
Set in a warped visage.
He worked with animals.
He remembered me when I came into the shop.
A sweet kid.
Knocked around by life
His damage exposed to any cruel scrutiny.
But if he didn’t have those scars
I never would have remembered
That perfect, bottomless shade of chestnut
All his clear bright youth
Welling from within.
Whereas others diffuse their energy
Softly illuminating their many beauties
His beauty was focused, a point of hard light
Shining against a grim backdrop of battered sadness
In stunning contrast.
We affect each other
push and pull on each other’s emotions
if we drown we drag people down with us
if we fly others draft in our wake.
vent your frustrations into somebody’s ear
watch their smile disappear
laugh until they can’t help laughing too
love until they are loving you
It gets bigger.
Sometimes you are part of something beyond yourself
sometimes you are angry for no reason
and the people on the street match your mood
sometimes you overhear conversations
or see a trend on social media
which inexplicably echo your private feelings.
Is it the moon?
When I didn’t have feelings
I watched it happen
Now that I’ve found my heart
I am swayed with the populace
flowing where they flow.
and still no answer.
How exactly do you
Out of the thin air
Out of the faceless crowds
You pick someone
Delicate first efforts
Some texts, some calls, some online discourse
Soon you can get a little closer
No sudden movements
Don’t scare them off
Feed them frequently
Eventually they trust you enough
To let you into their house
Hug them whenever you want
Get drunk together
Go for nothing drives
Drop by uninvited.
You don’t make a friend.
You tame one.