Reparation

I bumped inthrough your ghost
into an old familiar face
off Pitt Street yesterday.

From the cabinet beside your bed
you handed me a box
of Kleenex tissues and his twenties.

I followed him into the street;
he turned toward the Rocks
and kept his head down.

I knew exactly how he felt.
I’ve been in shoes like his.
I’ve been around.

I walked awhile beside him;
tried to tell him not to sweat it.
He didn’t hear me.

So I left him in the street,
found a bar, lit a rollie,
bought a bourbon;

and I wondered why you deigned
to take the money from a boy
and reimburse me.

When I’d finished off the third
I left and found you in the cubicle
I left you.

I put the box of tissues
on your pillow,
and offered you the change.

.

Brad Frederiksen 2009

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