Saturday, 29 June 2013

Food Court Patrons

Waiting for my friend,
while sitting in the food court
at a round green table
with steel chairs attatched.

An old man reading a free newspaper,
Lifting colorful pages against the air
and they fold peacefully into place.

Groups of Greek elders,
Socrates and Plato
scraping caked ink 
off the lottery game cards
and blowing chaff with weak lungs.
Thick glassed eyes
telling tales of old,
of events that happened to them,
free of the editors mind,
the splendid ego
on a rampage.

A pretty Asian girl in slim slacks,
and fine ruby red sweater
and stiletto boots,
walking, texting, talking.

Old women,
complain about hospitals
and nurses while sipping
from coffee time and shaking their heads 
in disbelief.
I am 
waiting for my friend
in whom schizophrenia
has reigned  for many years.
I see
him walk in from the opposite side,
furtively glancing,
until I walk over.
His smile is an awakening
at first,
but then his countenance lowers 
onto his face like wrinkled wax paper,
red and welted with bloodshot eyes 
and half his smile knocked out.
He tells me gambling stories
and of women who are burning to have sex.
How he won two thousand dollars
then gave it all to a friend
week by week
until it was spent.
because she needed food for the kids.

"Do you have the Holy Spirit?"
he says.
"I can't tell anyone
but I can tell you
the secrets of the kingdom."
He rubs his palms,
"I know something I can't tell,
I'm going to change into a baby."

I look
At infants in strollers
with so many mothers,
and believe him.

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