He wakes up on top of me
Wearing the same tattered clothes,
As dank and filthy as garbage
On a hot and humid afternoon.
He slips away every day before dawn.
Before they come to check on me,
And clean my worn out skin
And clear my space of thrown out dreams
And rusted needles still dripping
With last night’s cheap thrill.
Before noon, my aging father comes.
He sits and feeds his pigeon wives
Who coo their surrogate affection
For the love he lost long ago.
The smile that brightens his face
And illuminates the vast depths of his longing eyes
In the rare moments he speaks her name
When he thinks no one is around
Make me long to meet her.
I drink from his poisoned well of passion
And am sickened by my voyeurism.
My children always arrive after school.
They climb all over me,
Making my old bones creak with joy.
Their love warms my wood
And gives me hope for my father
And cleans my conscience
Of my vile nightly relations.
Today, a man brings me flowers.
The light of the setting sun plays off their petals
As he sits with me a while and admires them.
For some reason, his face is sullen
As he slowly rises, lays them on my lap,
And walks away without a word.
The flowers are a breath of fresh air
That I graciously let waft over me,
Until the sun sets and the coked-out thugs
Come, carrying needles and drugs.
They holler and hop on my lap,
And kick my legs and leave me sore,
And litter my space with brewing tetanus.
It’s late when they finally leave me alone
In my dark area beneath the burnout lamp,
But I know he will always come back,
Late, in the dead of night,
When I’m vulnerable and welcoming,
Looking for comfort and love
After the day has used me.