she's in the lost and found by Nicole Lesnett
she's in the lost and found again.
the other night on the radio,
the dj said "shout out to all the homeless folks
taking a bath in the rain"
and i wondered if he'd ever taken a bath all night
with each one of his possessions.
she looked lost when we found each other in clarion alley,
as i'm looking at her just long enough
to quickly smile, quick enough to acknowledge her humanity
while offering nothing, really, and she
asks me what i can spare and i
am ready for this question,
have already calculated how i'll gladly give her the one in my wallet
without her seeing the ten.
half a block to our left,
tacos are made by mexican families.
half a block to our right,
tacos promise, in english, to be authentic
and i wondered what that was supposed to mean.
she's looking particularly lost, i find out,
as i fumble for the one dollar bill
because her room has locked her out
and the atm has nothing and even the ER
wouldn't keep her longer than last night.
she tells me how ashamed she is
to ask for things and the pity on my face
is starting to crush my eyebrows, palpable,
and i'm making us both cringe.
on my way there,
the sidewalk read, "if i still lived here i would vote for prop f"
and i wondered if anyone who did still live in the mission
looked past the human feces and glorified glowboxes
long enough to read it, or to vote.
i'm feeling lost as i'm trying to find something,
anything else to offer her
and she asks for some water and the time,
thanks me for giving her the time of day
and all i can think is how much i wish i
could give her the thing, just one thing that might be
fucking useful, like whatever would ease
the trembling of her hands or whatever the
difference is between dirty napkins and paper cranes,
like maybe there's a way to refold all the things in her life
that got soiled and rumpled into
a thousand guarantees of a good life.
she's in the lost and found again,
and i wondered if someone would finally be able to offer directions
as to where she could ask for her dignity back.