I walked out the 33rd street side of my building,
across the street for lunch, and felt, “We’re all soldiers.”
I see more and more homeless people in Penn Station camped in the passageways,
behind the departure board near track one where there’s a wall they go behind.
Maybe the cops are letting them stay. The cops are an army.
One homeless man, whose stomach is bare even in winter
because he wears a skimpy cropped shirt,
lets us pass around him in coats and gloves.
Are we an army, too?
I know the Amtrak cops in Penn Station because I hit my head
on a fire extinguisher, and we chatted while they waited to see if I had a concussion.
I met DJ waiting for the Boston Amtrak.
He was just out of Rahway jail serving twenty years.
“I am not that kind of person,” he said, “but I will kill you if you fuck me.”
I said, “DJ, if you always react like that, you’re going to be ruled by anger.”
“You’re right,” said DJ. He asked could I help him get a train ticket to Camden,
to get back with his ex-wife.
I don’t know if she knew he was coming.
Later, I considered whether I’d done a good thing
giving DJ twenty bucks.
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