I’m not supposed to be here.
I should have been killed by the damned rapist
or passed away of childhood illness in hospital
or brain dead in coma from the fall from the monkey bars
broke my neck in bike fall or been a casualty of the war
or lost my arm in industrial accident
or gotten lost in the drug culture war
or domestic disputes
or gone down in welter of personal job failures
or killed in a car, train, or plane crash
so anything I do from here is much better than might have been expected
and the frost in pampas plume feather upon the sun porch windows
and the cold growl of the city laboring still before dawn
in the mid-winter night comedown from the northern border
in dark frigid embrace as if only to say
what a warm bed and flannel sheets
and sweet wifey woman is there.


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.