Phil

my apartment was extremely empty so i escaped it
threw on my jacket threw my hands in the pockets and walked
for miles and miles down south broadway towards downtown

and in streetlight i walked by a man who asked me for a dollar
and i said no sorry man i got nothing on me
and he asked me how i was doing and i told him and he told me

his name was Phil and that he was kicking himself because he
spent his last dollar on a beer and now he had to walk home
and it was a pretty cold night and i told him i was sorry

we walked beside each other towards downtown like some
strange manifesto on how strangers could be friends too
and he asked me if i had a cigarette he could have

and i said no sorry man i don’t have a dollar and i don’t
have a cigarette all i’ve got to offer you is conversation
and he said oh that’s okay that’s better

i went into the seven eleven and i got some cash out for him
and he said he’d better hang back so the cops didn’t think he
was panhandling and that made me realize something new

that we’re all humans but we have these weird bad rules as
as a world where we can classify people to treat them differently
but the truth still remained that we all were just people

and Phil reminded me of that fact because we just talked
and sometimes he didn’t hear me and sometimes he slurred
and it was hard for me to capture what he was saying but

i still felt it

i still felt that there was a human being beside me and we both
were lonely and walking towards the city we loved and it was a
little too cold but the difference was i had everything i needed

Phil and i ate a couple taquitos as i walked him to the bus stop
and he asked for my phone number so i offered it to him but
he didn’t have a phone and i didn’t have a piece of paper

and part of me thought we should walk back and get a piece of
paper but our walk was over and i wished Phil all the best and
as i walked away he said God bless you and i said God bless you too

because i’m no atheist but i’m close enough sometimes to know
that we all have moments of believing in God and that the world
wants to tell you what that means but God is whatever you think

and for me God was whatever brought me out onto that street
and for me God was Phil and was a brief moment of real humanity
and then i had to let God go and he had to let go of me but it’s still with me

it’s still with me

i still feel it

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Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.

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