Poem: Crash Pad Laundromat

In the middle of the night

When not a soul is stirring

I slip into the bright white lights

And hear washing machines whirling

Empty now, a space I spy

And bend down to my task

Notice in the corner of my eye

Clandestine shadow masks

A form of man who barely moves

And smells of sweat and hunger

No laundry does he now clean here

Only respite from rain and thunder

Arm wrapped into backpack strap

Yet not a sound he utters

Living from each desperate act

In this life now stuttered

A face of acne and scars and grime

And clothes that do not fit

A bike hides in the corner

Where a garbage can sits

He does no harm, and only sleeps

Refuge from outdoors

In this place of laundry soap

And the dull grey floors

I let him sleep as laundry dries

And sit and smoke and write

In a crash pad laundromat

In the middle of this night

©2019 James Takeo

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