NR Digital

Poetry

by Michael Petti

TATTERS

I see the garment of a grief and pain
you no longer can feel,
the sleeve of my own heart tugged at
on this lost winter’s afternoon,
cold and indecisive sun reflected
in the eyes of all who pass by, conceal
Surfacing fears of who I am, fake or real,
or what I may yet become — like you,
a vagrant soul walking this Earth,
higher needs hollowed out, bankrupted,
content to settle for random crumbs of care
from nameless strangers who do stop, so few
Extend a kindred hand, a smile to view,
or act as though that unsavory smell,
as you sit for warmth on the sidewalk vent,
is not the cloaking aura of our neglect,
wafting upon the subway thermals from below,
but the imaginable breath of some unimaginable Hell.