Sunday At The Homeless Shelter by Matt Borkowski

homeless

SUNDAY AT THE HOMELESS SHELTER

if Christ came back
we’d kill him again
this morning
but he won’t, so we can’t.

and the staff is asleep,
and there’s a child somewhere,
but not here;

here is failure personified on
40 bunk beds,
clothing from the Goodwill Mission
stuffed in crates underneath and
then some hanging limply drying
from the steam pipes.

there are many geniuses here
with me In the homeless shelter,
and many more sleeping
under bridges
and on subway grates;

a genius Is a person who
will not compromise their opinion.

we know we are right.
Amen.

at night when all us geniuses
are sleeping, the fumes of
our thoughts climb towers
to our dreams,
and although our bodies are buried in
exhaust and humiliation,
we know we are right,
and time is a liar.

time is just a fat roach
to be crushed at tomorrow’s
breakfast table, if we can
find one;

time is just a sweet little
blackhead on our noble cheeks,
to be squeezed and wiped
when the spirit moves us,

time is a liar.

we’re not afraid of time; killing time is as easy as taking
a piss, an’ cheaper, too;
the other geniuses and I know
the essence of time,
we know how to split a match
in halt, and how to brush
our teeth with salt,
and how to make a dollar
last a whole day and then some…..

an’ how to roll a cigarette with one hand,
an’ when to fight and when
to speak,
and when not to fight and when
not to speak,
and when to flush the toilet,
an’ when not to flush the toilet,

the other geniuses and I are
DANGEROUS! —

no folks,
Einstein was not a genius.

he was just a fat little kid
with crazy hair — who excelled at something he
didn’t really understand,

he’d never survive down here.

we’d squash him like a beetle
and watch his guts ooze out
his asshole–

no more gardens in Princeton,
no more atom bombs either;

we’d steal his tomatoes and
smash them in the street;
so much for relativity!

cause we know we are right,
and time….
well,

what time Is It in Nagasaki?
don’t know huh?

don’t care either?

time is a cat with its eyes gouged out,
a bottle of cheap wine sucked down through
the phlegm of another day’s
mercy killings;

we could care less if the whole damn machine
blew up right now, spitting blood and
smoke
through these halls of hell,

we’d laugh,
bum another cigarette, an’ maybe then,
wash out our socks and hang ’em
on the heat pipes, for tomorrow.

so much for tomorrow

tomorrow-should it come-
will find us as we are
today-

content in our anger,

and not quite dead
enough
to
rise

Poem taken from Half Dozen Of The Other, Issue No. 3, 1990 edited by Ken Greenley.

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