I Was There

Yes, they chased us.
Out of the woods,
through the apartments
and into the city—
the chaos of the city.
Remember me?
I panhandled here.
And nobody gave me SHIT
because I look like a cage fighter.
And you—
you won’t give a dollar to the homeless guy on the corner
because “he’ll just buy beer.”
he can use that dollar to buy a nice fresh salad so that he can start a healthy new diet while living under a dilapidated bridge by the sewer gate, right?
His best-dollar investment
is to buy the beer
get through the night.
I know, because I was there.
I also know that there’s a Chapman Dodge off Boulder Highway that puts out donuts at 9AM.
the check-in guy can’t see the donut box from the window.
I know, because I was there.
I know, I know.
I was everywhere.
City to city
with some country girl.
Out in the country
with some city girl
living out of a busted Toyota that was hit so many times from behind that the trunk popped up and down like the neck of a broken Pez Dispenser
. . . with bungee cords holding the bumper together.
It looked like it was LaUgHiNg.
And maybe it was.
But guess who’s laughing now?
Gun metal Mustang,
no more breakdowns.
High-rise bachelor pad,
no more shelters.
No more legal holds.
No more transitional housing programs.
No more sleeping in an abandoned haunted house in the dead of winter—
stomach-down on my bag so that everything I own don’t get jacked at night.
Housing is personal
and I haven’t seen a cockroach in three years.
But there’s a flood channel under East Flamingo.
A lot of guys died in those tunnels.
They died when it rained.
I know because I was there.
And I know I can share
war stories for your marshmallows
and hot brown mama
but you wouldn’t believe the Half and Half,
much less the Roast.
That’s why I write.
I write for my reflection,
but toast to the folks who were really there
to those who are still there
to those who were always there
I know
that they know
that the only way I could ever know
is because I was there.


Poem by Ryan Anarchy
Artwork by Unknown

I wrote this while listening to:
*  Hozier – In the Woods Somewhere