by Aram Wool
art by Andrew Penland

Where nature conflicts with man made concrete and roads
There I have wandered
At 2 A.M.
Intoxicated and leaning on brick buildings as I walked
Awake alone
Everyone else passed out under a roof, sheltered
living fungus dreams calmly
The sun gone down, it was cold
Faded cargo pants were touched by dust
I trudged on
moving so slow, almost backwards, why not stop?
Dusty gutters, moist at the bottom
good home for the homeless
I muttered to myself, looked down the swaying street
scratched where a mosquito had been
it got away, with blood and everything, damn!
Only cars around are parked and sleeping
street lights keep me company, hum with my approach
I donít function electronically, but not human either
more of a glue inside me
squashing animal instincts like hunger
not hungry
feeling melted
not tired but would probably sleep if given a bed to rest in
Everything was closed
windows but no lights
cool breeze pushes plastic grocery bag around
in no particular direction
I overtake it, cross the finish line, win
smiled faintly, the victorís humble smile
A few steps back buildings stopped being next to me
forces me to stick arms out to keep balance
attracts police
but none come, lucky
must be careful now, having no building wall to protect me
curb ends are dangerous, abrupt change in height, like a camouflaged step
I was good though, I never fell

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Background by Evil Elven