The cold, brisk San Francisco evening wind howls
Through the canyon between Davies Hall
and the Opera House
The wind creeps, sneaks
Into the doorways strewn with covered
Hidden, bedecked homeless
Resting in hovels like turtles
In their rhinoceros skin
Peeking out at the guilty, flighty passers-by

Unshaven, covered with ample woolen clothes and blankets
In cardboard houses, each a misfit
Spelling the story of insane bestiality in its most base form
In alcoholic stupor to forget and sleep
Someone shot, beaten, maimed

The mind incoherent, not balanced, confused
The chain of love broken, isolate, suspicious
Absorbed with cancer and disease, maggots inside
Admonition, no recognition
Other than that of vermin

Feeling of repeated failure, hopelessness
Numbness of love
Deeply hurt by unforeseen circumstances
The loss of friends matching loneliness

The bottle, the match, the penny, the coke, the crack
The gun, AIDS, syphilis, the needle
Remembrance of cure and salvation
only to succumb to the devil again

The wreck and ravages of human creatures in a sea of wealth
Where is democracy? Where are the churches, the services?
The homeless multiply and suck like leeches for their life
Accompanied by pet dogs, by grocery carts
Always with cups, hats, and open hands begging
Somehow, right here near the Opera House
With its opulence of chandeliers, foyers, high ceilings
Brightly lit, studded with elegant patrons
The voices of the homeless muted, silent, yet in a ring circling
Becoming art of a theater of life
With all living and dead devout
Proud creatures comprising a living cast
The cast of my cousin, my brother, my sister

Someone’s mother or father
And I
Who strut and play and say
Let me survive let me live
Let me be just let me

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