“Going Out” by Bill Duke

Bill Duke

Going out with
nothing
Is the same as
staying in
You never meet
anybody
And you don’t know
where you’ve been
Going out with nothing
to give or understand
Is the same as
talking to yourself
or
shaking your own hand
People need to feel each other
giving up themselves
to the
day to day experience of
breaking out of shells
and
reaching thru the silence
to
soothe each others pain
with
wordless conversations
and
risking loss and
gain
Going out with nothing
fools no one but yourself
because everybody’s
listening
waiting
for You
to share your wealth
but
to hear a soul that’s bankrupt
in words that are not felt
to remember nothing that’s been said
is like
dead men talking
to the dead
The only things worth saying
are the things we
feel
and whether they are wrong or right
is not the question
not tonight
When darkness covers everything
Even answers poets bring
But
Going out with nothing
is the same as staying in
You never meet anybody
And
you don’t know
where
you’ve been.

Bill Duke

All Rights Reserved

© 2009

Marika 2 by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

she’s a sad little puddle of misery
on the sidewalk outside the bar.
shocking to see how much she’s
deteriorated in only a week.
she gums her words,
the always sad litany of her
always sad life and,
as always,
I give her $1.
I should go out after dark more often.
bring more money. but ever since my stepdaughter
started stealing my
cash, I stopped carrying any.
should I call social services? I ask. I take out my iphone.
no. they won’t come. you gotta be on the street for
thirty days before
they’ll come git you.
thirty days is a long time to be homeless,
destitute, puddled, distraught.
I’m just tryin’ta git me sumthin’ ta eat, a place ta sleep,
it’s been so hard,
so hard, she says.
I reach into my wallet.
give her all I have.
she follows me down the neon street,
nose running, eyes bright,
thanking me over and over.
I can’t get away fast enough.
All Rights Reserved
© 2009