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Preferring The Stars.   (After College)

the invisible ones
in plain sight
cardboard for a bed
and stars for the light
blankets from rags
minds on the moon
wandering the universe
on earth there's no room

summarized in epithets
rounded up and disposed
maligned and blighted
no comforts
what home?

ever slept in the bushes
ever slept under ground
ever slept in a cave
ever wandered
all night long?

I once found a home
in a cave near the river
with an extension chord
inside were gathered amenities
and scribbled plaque
about the Lord

I heard stories of a man
who quacked like a duck
this was his language
he lived in the St. Paul caves
and his art rivalled
the Dadaists and Cubists and
he drew on anything
then sold it for a buck

one summer I knew a woman
that woman was me
I bathed in McDonald's bathroom
and slept sitting up
under a bridge near the university

then showed up for work
as if nothing was wrong
coiffed and perfumed
but often hungry as a lost dog

a few times I dug in the garbage
I was grateful for pizza crusts
on paydays I'd eat a large salad bar
into my pockets I'd stuff
crackers and bread
and errant pats of butter
no one knew
I didn't tell anyone
but the hiding and more hiding
lasted four months until
I found a room

and to tell you
I was happy
I could say
it wasn't much better
feeling alone
in a house full of people
and all the time
preferring the stars.

legal copyright for this poem/truth eight-oh-three pm pacific standard time 2/25/2021
and also for this poet Melissa A. Howells
and also for this legally copyrighted site title
Meloo Straight From Her Tilt-a-World.