Happy New Year
A human being
by Seamus O' Brian
Haversack of caustic memories,
A translucency of forgotten dreams
Once as thick and vividly chromatic as
The kevlar hope of childhood;
Now graveled down by the bite of a road
Whose every inch pocks away
The stature of a man,
Whose every intersection disarticulates
The stride of a man,
Until his shivers mark the beat
Of the flicker of the street lights
Just beyond the shadow of his
Doorway.A cardboard mattress
Embossed with ambiguous stains
Of grease and the weight of a body
Which once bore dreams
Populated by astronauts and athletes,
Now cavitated by shame and the
Fear that crawls through the streets
Whispering a warning not to sleep
So soundly that the exchange of a blade
In the ribs for a pair of shoes
Will not be mistaken for a dream
Of a clasp of compassion.
A shifting of weight in the six inches
Of brick and plaster
that is home tonight-
crook of an elbow shielding the eyes
from the burst of fireworks
over a moon-latticed bay
intertwining riotous light with
the screeching announcement
of a brand new year.
If I look away then you don't exist,
And the layers of my bourgeois existence
Insulate you back to a paragraph
In a subcommittee on the "problem"
And I can keep walking.
I'd like to give you the appropriate
Greeting of the season- but
I was in Cap Hatien when I discovered
That there are places in this world
Where Santa won't go,
and doorways that holidays pass by.
Love somebody who
Can do nothing for you.