Outside the walls, family and friends,
a few good ones, the barbers all over the city
who each know a fragment of my life—the serious
Romanian barber who commented on a child,
saying, he didn’t move or nothing, and I said
he was patient, only to regret what sounded
like a correction—he was patient, the barber repeated,
snipped the air, and turned back to size up my head.
My old family doctor, who retired and disappeared,
and the new one, almost my age, who smiles
like open arms, the woman who thanked me
at work saying, you’ve been like an angel.
In here, a lineup of Bond films—Connery perfect
in how he pulls off the wetsuit to reveal the tux—
four new walls to protect me, keep warm mice bones
hidden in the ceiling, paperwork I’ll never want to see
again, the heating duct that wants to crack my forehead
but can’t, the cold painted floors, the electric motor
of coffee in my heart because we’re to keep going,
the thought I was buried for the sake of money.
The thin but growing river of bitterness in me,
the desire to hit someone a slightly stronger weed
in my heart each time another homeless tosses me
a nasty remark as I work my way back here.