Not now, not ever

There was a time in my life when I used walk late at night, recklessly, through Brixton. I contemplated how thin the line between safe and warm and homelessness is. Where do the disappeared actually go?

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Sodium yellow faded night

in trash can alley

where all the dreams go to die

the Neon signs buzz wasps

 

Rats scurry into their KFC homes

for that last bite of chicken

the deep ammoniacal doorways

still wet, pungent and steaming

 

Tin foils and methadone

bottles lined up on a wall

if one should accidentally fall

what would Odin do?

 

Strung out for Yggdrasil

a strange fruit pendant

where all the Stigmata

still bleed in his palms

 

He has no more

alms to give

his bowl now

stamped VOID and empty

 

From out all the alphabet soup

can find not now a word

though he can see plenty

and hear all, those whispers

 

On the sidewalk of shame

he sees the resting place

a white chalk line

shaped like a man

… … his totality

 

The resplendent banners

fluttering triumphant in the breeze

saying; “Do Not Cross”

are bathed in the flashing blues

… … of his final siren song

 

they were too late

John Doe was DOA

clutching at straws to the very end

there a single celluloid lay, crinkled

… … beside him

 

No one noticed as the city wind

carried it silent away as

the first teardrop rain

lands sidewalk slowly

… … the night it sobs just a little

 

The pitter-patter of tiny feet

with chamois softness

start to work on him

and before the commuters

…  … he will be gone

 

His Etch-a-Sketch life

all iron filings

has drawn its last

and no photo-fit

… … will ever capture him again

 

Not now, not ever.