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.
complain about hospitals
and nurses while sipping
from coffee time and shaking their heads
waiting for my friend
in whom schizophrenia
has reigned for many years.
him walk in from the opposite side,
until I walk over.
His smile is an awakening
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?"
"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."
At infants in strollers
with so many mothers,
and believe him.