So I hold the glass door
for him, ragged cuffs and hair,
as he enters where I’ve just left.  
He’s not what I think, those
dumb assumptions.  We’re both
homeless, and not because
we’ve got no place to lie.

Bellyful for now, tonight I’ll crop
some pale greens for soup.
Old shirt, frayed jeans, worn
shoes, yet I have work to do:
walk the street, see things I don’t
care for: broken pavement,
someplace somebody got sick.

I’m the body I found
myself in and carried earthwide
since then — who in hell remembers?  
And here is where I’ll sleep
turtle-wise, and here or here,
and dream the dim stories
I might have lived, known

the good guys, tried to join up.
This guy going inside for the
all-you-can-eat buffet, he
thanks me.  I smile and pass
through the space he just
emptied, each alone
with whoever fills these shoes.

A. E. Stringer

If you have any comments on this poem, A. E. Stringer would be pleased to hear from you.