Two Songs for Two Home-Less Souls

BY OLIVIA LAU

I. Hunger

I do not know much – about
The persistent lamentation of the home-bound stomach
Mine is not yours.
And I do not know
You – your nameless name –
A void in the ever widening
Perimeter gaze
Of your abandoned half-eaten –
Orange peel.
May I have more? No I tell you.
It is especially good today. the eggs. I am glad.
Why do you not tell me your name?
You say. a bird in your mind. a guinea.
I do not understand.
You know me. You see me. touch me. smell me.
I reek of orange slices. coffee. scrambled eggs with
   bell peppers and cheese.
And toast. Proudly.
Every Sunday morning – and I see your eyes crinkle
With grinful recognition
Like the sullen brown river-god dying in the drought
I come to you quietly. serene.
Before the sun spots His first glance
At the world He leaves dark
Morning till morning
A Sunday morning – when I arise
To here – You
My Nameless homeless friend. The voice of my Lord.
Have you eaten, girl?
No – My Lord. My Lord – I have not.
And I hunger.
Waiting. Watching you eat your –
Breakfast

II. Fragments for Harold, the Man who Sits Outside my Apartment Complex

Harold.
I pass.
how
   are you? you ask.
the Discarded
   inviting me into their:
Habitat.

channel.
   radio through firmament hair.
     effusing language of Tongues
   a Spirit –
   no
entered Consciousness understands.

a Broken.
and a Burried.
     that is one yellow flashlight:
   that shines darkness –
     in the morning,
and five Zodiac tissue designs.
I believe you have bestowed
     upon me more earthly treasures
than I you.

rememory is like
the infinite Diaspora
of Shattering urban
     bottles.

for me.
     but you – are dwelling
in the paradise that
recycles. our world.

somedays.
I do not see you, Harold.
and I perish and ponder.
where you wander.
     oh Cain of Modernity!
do you
   detest your mark?
   because I may have
one too –
     of Ash.
and it bids Me welcome.
to the Kingdom —

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