The fingernails are always dirty, the papers crumpled, the creases a stained black wrinkle.
Eyes like peeled apples – yellow, mealy bobbles. Mouths like puppeteer hands, “We’re here to sell magazines to keep off the streets.”
Clothes like careless flags on floating poles. They have no land. They are of no home. No people.
I’ve had several knock on my door, the products of labor trafficking, their bosses assuming all profit in exchange for bus travel, a few sleeps in hotels, a taco from Taco Bell. Always the same believable story.
Repeatedly, they are left far from their original streets, homeless, alone – some with sick sweet rocks in their pockets to burn in the dark.
D’Angelo wandered here to the apartments, right in the middle of our play area where princesses and pirates forgot they were children.
He said they left him, and I recognized the story.
I tried talking. He didn’t understand. He tried to tell me some whys, not selling anything except his need to find the boss he’d tried to reach for days. I didn’t understand, wanted to woo him away. Many here at the apartments put their heads together, wanted to offer jobs and life and permanentness, but we’re all ill-fit for this, cuffed. Instead they fed him, put him up for the night, and took him for a bus.
He even came back after getting a ride away, and he leaves with clothes that aren’t his, a hotdog, and a smile.
He thinks I’m beautiful, calls me Honey. I see myself in the reflection of gold-rimmed glasses.
Tired stray dog.
Image of God.