IDENTITIES

We had been noticing them,

Carol and I

The regulars, but who seemed a little off

Dancing—

As if they were balancing on the edge of a cliff

Or swimming, teetering

Dancing in the same places on the floor

Night after night

We guessed about them,

But didn’t talk to them

 

And then I did.

Adoption, foster homes, homeless

High a lot

Flat affect, rarely smiling

Loving

Caring

Biblically literate

An artist

Single parent

Intelligence, intellect

Some talk of Swedenborg

 

I work so hard to attain

Degrees, my condo, car, career, my musical projects

Volunteer commitments

Affections for useful activities

Affections

Sobriety

Effort to learn right and wrong

True and false

And do

 

And yet . . .

The blues bar

Regulars

Night after night

A hang out

A home

Community

Church

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Things I Think About, Alone

I eat my Denny’s spaghetti

And try to warm up

Alone

I can always go home

To a warm apartment

Alone

I think of my new Christmas clothes

My new guitar

New electric piano

New fine art print

Collection of ancient coins

They make me happy

Alone

I think of developing countries

Where many do not have such things

In their village

With their families, neighbours, relatives

Community, tribe

I think about these things

Alone