Waiting On The Reaper


In the jungle, amidst the Crimson infused concrete slabs, listening to 

leaves rustle against cold, torn clothed bodies whose shivers sound like

early eighties hip-hop,

I drew inspiration back like that lethal raw in the last syringe. 

It gazed at me like a shot of tequila does right before last call. Whispering my name knowing I couldn't hear it,

nor resist it, like murmurs from the reaper. 

The spoon, a tinge of silver under burnt blackness, decrepit in smirk of "blacklivesmatter,"

crept it's way out of my grasp unlike it did the woman of many scarves. 

She who held onto that chopped up park bench,

whose flesh was acrylic anti-gloss

paint chipped pain, over wood, over beer ruminated stomach acids, covered by more paint. 

Never primed. 

Her lips, more cracked than 165th street and so dry, the stench was all that mouth of kalahari  

could produce. 

In the paralyzing frigidity of winter, she couldn't move, let alone drool. 

Fissured, peeling, and chapped,

the splitting image of her life as if she's spent many nights making out with the reaper. 

I admired her mismatched socks as if she purposely fought against

societal norms, against 

local laws of park closing after 9 p.m., against

human rights and homelessness,

and against the one percenters. 

Her black fist, frozen tight in the power position. 

Plastic bags dressed like humans, with slogans, logos, and name brands plastered all over them, 

breezed past her without letting air turn them in that direction to brush against contagious disease or even to notice, and I swear

I saw a squirrel leave her a nut.   

Empathy that none of the upright walking animals cared to display. 

Sympathy unknown within our broken, wrought-iron, gated community,

as if everyone was Jane and John Doe,

even the neighbors. 

There's an empty jacket on what appears to be a child's drawing of pac-man or are those shouts of someone missing piece of the pie. 

It better be that fifty starred apple. 

Barrels of another man's treasure lay on blacktop as well,

as if comforted within an environment of home. Trespassers are not trespassers

no more than 

neighborhood pushers, weak bladder offenders, or assholes who've come to write. 

There's a faint aromatic disrespect of charred curry in the jagged branched skyline. 

Hunger pangs ring out louder than gun shots in Wyandah park on a Sunday morning. 

The residents don't notice me half as much as I notice every disappointed facial muscle motion that I carry pen, rather than scythe. 

I'm looking for inspiration. I'm searching a future I'm headed for two pay checks above

the poverty line like,

"this gonna be me if rent ain't paid on time." Then I'll be the one,

on the bench with one eye watching everyone walk pass, the other waiting for the saving grace of the reaper. 


Roger Smith © 2015