Oakland I

On the BART from 12th, I stare across
the train at a homeless man. He stinks
and he appears to be talking to me
and I watch him as his arms wave and
move and have their being in a crowded
car because no one wants to sit next
to a junkie. I send hand-wave emojis
to my friends when I want to die.
They think I’m saying hello. I wait
for the occasional text message back
asking how I am, if I’m ok, but my friends
are happy and have beautiful children.
I have thoughts about heroin, and how
many of us would detach from this life
if the passing wasn’t painful for the people
we love. I can see this hope in the junkie,
in how his body writhes when it’s high.
Slain in the spirit of his drug, he reaches
for the invisible, babbling word-like sounds
from his spirit to the uncomfortable people
all watching. Almost in tongues. Almost
absent from the body. Almost separation. 

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