4 walls
Surrounded and safe like a fly in a cup
Confused and lost beyond words
A hideous reminder of what we could be.
Had we taken that last drink.
Another drink. 
Or thrown just one more punch. 
30 seconds more in the womb without oxygen
If Mom hadn’t picked that guy, or Dad, her. 
Chemicals…just a mix up. 
Now unable to engage.
Or to be real
Or to learn.
Or to speak with a straight face and not feel pain.
Unable to buy thread and useful things.
Nothing covers up the alcohol stench. 
She said it stinks in the hall.
Stinks like an old homeless man on booze, mountaineering his way across a living room of disassembled sofas and madness and mattresses and lies. 
He is The Disheveled. 
He is a burden to himself and the neighbors
Pays nothing
Does nothing
Knows no one
Is no one.
And we may have to let him fall.
Knowing Goddamn well that he’ll fall hard.

And so on…

Dave B. is a longtime Boulder resident, musician, poet, father, and has worked closely with the local homeless population for years.

Boulder Weekly accepts poetry and flash fiction submissions of 450 words/35 lines or fewer and accompanied by a one-sentence bio of the author. Send to: poetry@boulderweekly.com


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