Poem Hunter
***03-25=2010*** How In The Hell Are They Still Standing?
TJM (January 1948 / San Francisco, CA)

***03-25=2010*** How In The Hell Are They Still Standing?

Poem By Tom J. Mariani

I keep seeing people who should be dead
They're not be in the morgue yet
I don't see why
What is keeping them moving breathing

My most recent sighting was
Just to the right of the front door
Of The San Francisco
Main Library

The Swig family and other old and new
Monied San Franciscans
Campaigned and fundraised
To pay for large rooms with their names

The library's many floors have decor
It even has a small deli
If you can pay for self-service coffee
Or the sandwich of the day

As you walk in off the street
You are greeted by
Large open space
Friends' of the Library Book Sales

Back outside in the cold
Just to the right of the front door
Stood a breathing
Dead person

There is no reason
I can see why
This person is still alive
What's keeping him upright

He's wearing grey sweatpants
Recently pissed in
Mismatched sneakers no socks
Ankles with blue black and red running sores

He's wearing a light long-sleeved shirt
I'm cold in my heavy sweater over my shirt
He put down his two plastice bags
Pulled out a bottle of vodka

Two big gulps saved some for later
I don't expect him to have a later
But off he walks steady on his feet
The seat of his wet pants facing me

The seat of his wet pants
Baffling me why is he still alive
Where does he sleep eat get warm
When and when in the hell will he die

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