January 1, 2010

the gutter bible ....chapter three: a song for charlotte....

by Derek Richards

we think we can't cry anymore
too toughened by sleeping on concrete
eating out of dumpsters
addicted and desperate and so often denied
but we can
i'm at a funeral and there are five people
including our ancient Father Michaels
we go in peace

globe and i have known charlotte
for two years now
tiny girl with fourteen piercings
and a severely crooked nose
broken six times by her ex-husband
three by her last boyfriend
who we took care of with some cheap hairspray
and a handful of lighters
charlotte staggered into saint josephs park
like a damaged cat
too tired to lick its wounds
after awhile we talked and she cried
and that was it
our little gang was now three

we hit a bad streak seven days ago
48 hours dry and sweating poison
tosses and turns
nightmares, delusions and reality
charlotte had some old connections
down near the sabel river projects
fifty bucks for a quick fuck
and a handshake

two days later we got nervous
scraped up fifty cents and bought
a copy of The Herald
she was fifth on a cold black white list
of seventeen deaths
through the hungry gossip of the streets
we learned her fate
i will not repeat it
because we can

we are at a funeral of five people
we are again a gang of two
when we are hooked up and in the sun
i hum songs to myself
sometimes i even scribble them down
we got hooked up
we are in the cemetery sun
i think i've got a song


James Babbs said...

I really like this poem. One of the best things I've read in a long time.

Anonymous said...

Nice work and great details.

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