We wander the ghost lanes of
our lost souls, coat collars turned
up against the blistering cold.
There is nothing left to gamble.
All bets were off, for us, a long
time ago. Time is all that’s left,
It’s the kind one serves like a
prison sentence.
We huddle beside the Mission,
smoke caged cigarettes, wait for
it to open: prayer, meal, lights out
at ten, spectral dreams with
phantom men.
Prayer? What is there to pray for?
Tomorrow we will rise slowly,
as from a graveyard like dead men,
and haunt the world again.

Key in the wrong door, maybe it will open
to something better?
I hear two doors close behind the locked one
The sound is final, my visit done.
I grew up near a race track, horses, dogs.
All the races were fixed.
There was a sign staked near the entrance
someone hammered into the ground.
“Jesus Finds The Lost.”
Lost bets I wondered?
No, the lost find Jesus, I concluded.
Not as good as scoring money but they
have to win something.
I’ll end this poem with a conversation
with a homeless person.
“Are you lost?” I ask him.
“I’m homeless. Can you spare some
“Maybe. I’m writing a poem. So far
it has no meaning. I was hoping you could
give it some.”
“You want meaning from a bum?”
“I’ll take it from anyone.”
“You need the right key to open the right
door. If you never find that key you’ll
be locked out forever.”
I gave him some change anyway.

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