Your Place

Consumption of the hours
waiting on benches
in rooms, for the machine
shielded eyes against the glare
sunbaked concrete
burns scalp and skin
sweating impatiently for the bus
to work
the time of life erodes
in the Laundromat baby cries
washer, dryer; hum and thump
nothing to do
nowhere to go
tick, tick, tick
goes the clock
goes the clothes
goes you
to be poor
takes so much time and money
nothing free
nothing given
filling forms
navigating bureaucracy
the waiting room becomes a home
more than the apartment
roaches, clogged drains
and landlord’s management’s voice mail
three miles to the market for liquid plumber
for bug spray
cavities on the credit card
19.9% interest on the amalgam
coin counters shaving 10% off the change jar
check cashing service
takes their share
pay day advance loan for rent
on a place you rarely are
storage space for rats
poverty is expensive, relentless
always crushing
keeping down
like politicians talking down
they call you lazy, parasite, mooch
one infection
one broken bone
one misstep, bum bounce, missed call or ride
your soul is forfeit, you are owned
temporary is your new designation
you are a limited time offer
waiting again for a placement
somewhere, anywhere, needing so bad
hungry desperation
gnawing loneliness
a night of indulgence
free love to numb the pain
expensive pills
popped only in lucky expectation
you’re not though – you know it
lucky with child
lucky with time bomb
ground down
so far down
you just can’t know
there is no way back up… back up
back up… what went wrong
look back, look ahead
stuck in the middle
the days are a vice
holding you to your place

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