I wake up from Testosterone Flats
where I have been male bonding
with the Evangelicals
who are mobbed together
gone to the mattresses
in a ramshackle trailer
as they hold out against the depression
and the prevailing political winds
which are deluging their teeter-totter shelter
and threatening to blow it off
its unanchored foundation.

I wish that I could tell them
that none of it really makes
a bit of chit of a difference
that the blight of blanched wall world
and rotted timber neighborhood
can be rebuilt better than before
that I am really not as strange
as they might think
and don’t want to ram abortions
or condoms down their throats
in fact I am quite sure we could
come together almost as one
Southerner and Northerner
poor and well to do
white and black and brown
to guide our children in courtship
and keep them safe
against the deep impending night.


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.