Homeless in NYC

by Michael Keshigian


I crossed 42nd to get to Fifth
towards mid-town
and just paces in front of me
an old lady pushed a shopping cart
full of identity.

Bags of cans dangled
from each elbow
and clanged as she waddled
in clothes
worse than a country scarecrow

though her straw gray hair
hung longer,
tied in a tail with brown hosiery
to match her stoic, weathered face
and it pained my heart

when suddenly she squatted
in a deep knee bend,
like she was picking
something off the sidewalk,
and there she froze

as I quickly approached
to help,
unaware of the problem
till a puddle formed
and its river flowed around my shoes

down the curb
and in the privacy of her mind,
she transformed
my sympathy
to confused helplessness.

Recognized

by Michael Keshigian


He stood there,
staring back at me,
odd expression upon his face,
he smiled after I did
from the other side
of a huge pane window
on the newly renovated office building,
appearing a bit more disheveled
than I remembered, more wrinkles
supporting his grimace
and receding hairline,
acknowledging me
when I nodded hello.
I use to know him well,
athletic, sculpted, artistic,
a well defined physique,
but his apparent paunch
negated any recent activity.
This window man
I thought I knew,
musician, writer, runner, dreamer,
now feasted off the stale menu
of advancing age,
aches, excuses, laziness,
failing eyesight and an appetite
for attained rights
decades seem to imply.
Yet I accepted him,
embraced him for who was,
aware that he would be the lone soul
to accompany me
toward the tunnel’s light
when all others have drawn the blinds.
“Walk with me,” I say.
He stays close.

Loneliness Motel

by Michael Keshigian


His little hole in the Boston skyline,
one window lined with soot
facing Fenway Park.
In the room overhead, there was a clarinet
that stalked Stravinsky’s Three Pieces
every evening. During the day,
it was mostly quiet,
the crowd on the sidewalks
resembled the spiders in the room,
preying with thick overcoats
to catch the unsuspecting
in a web woven with smog
dimly illuminated with the little light
that penetrated the building alleys,
so dark, he could only shave
with a lamp in his face.
Every morning at 7:30 A.M.,
students clamored on the staircase,
rushing en route to classes at the universities
and colleges around the corner,
the clarinet player would flush the toilet
then turn on the shower.
Once in a while, a bird
chirped or tweeted, like a bell chime,
so close to his door,
for a moment, he believed
he had a visitor.

Trinity

by Sarah Frances Moran


I.
So she’s blind… ashamed… hiding every
pain broadcasted
through the speakerbox
that was me
and I’m now equally silent
Tired
I’m jaded
A dot at the end of the apology
You can’t bring yourself to give

Affection starved
and dirty
we’re all at the sidelines as
my emotional holocaust…. ruptures

Apathetic and helpless
A cringe
A stomach pain
nausea
with every brush of the lips
every witnessed attempted love
every forced… “i need you…”

II.
On my journey from fear
you are the wolf chasing me down

You’re the eyes of the storm that
chaos has conjured

You’re the devil in a godless world

But I am the power
in a broken heart
marinating in my sorrow and hatred

the center of the quake
fermenting til perfection
waiting patiently
to eradicate you

III.
Who are you
in the depths of my mind
where angels are fantasy
and god is dead

Who are you
that relinquishes my fears
and lifts my depression
my deep down emotional recession

who are you
in the morning of my waking
nightmares
soothing the storm that brews within me
while I sleep

who are you….
where there is only silence.

who are you
where there is nothing but chaos

where were you when I arrived
so ready to be received
and appreciated

Epitomizing my cravings
and then some.
Making love heaven-like
and beautiful

my favorite flavor of understanding
my wet dream
come true
with every squirm
underneath hands so delicate and willing
to unveil a horror
most would shy away from

and where are you now…
that your calm is one with mine

Collide

by Sarah Frances Moran


In a preconceived fashion neither one of us in all our infinite pondering
could ever have imagined, thought of or hoped for… we crash

There’s something cliche in the static that transfers through our bodies when we touch… because doesn’t everyone say that…

“Your touch tingles”

Well cliche can see itself to the door… because our touch sparks
it sizzles
it reverberates
it causes earthquakes that no seismograph could register
its shift starts deep inside the recesses of souls that most of the world cowers from… has cowered from
it lifts itself through us and out of us with a music that only
our ears hear
it pounds
its the deepest bass line
you’ve never heard

I could whisper
I could stealth my way across the plain of you
and it would still resound with madness

If I inch my way across your skin
easing my tongue… into your mouth
I’d own you…
at the very moment
I thought I’d left possession behind

We come together with a violent intensity
that only we could possibly handle

Our worlds were meant to collide

First Fastfood Heartbreak

by Sarah Frances Moran


The first time I put the savory goodness
of one of your sandwiches in my mouth
was 9th grade…
Amongst the teen angst
The worry over seating and the feel of frightening newness
was your simple stand and your simple…mouth-watering… $2 sandwich.
The savior from the lunch tray line..
The answer to all my lunch-time prayers…

I was in love

Relishing in the greatness
of your crispy chicken, tart pickle and buttery bread

When I sunk my teeth in the first time
I never knew that within two years I’d realize my gayness
and within
two decades
you chicken sandwich gods
would
simply
break. my. heart.

I drive by you daily

and with sadness I pass
never turning in
never allowing myself the pleasure of that greatness

A simple reminder
that all good things can be tarnished
by small idiotic ideology
Things as simple as sandwiches.

Chick-Fil-A… makers of mighty chicken sandwiches
Haters of homosexuals…
Breakers of hearts…

Every I Love You Lied Through Your Teeth

by Sarah Frances Moran


Within your image of me
I am frozen
A masterpiece prodigy
and you have no regrets

I’m forever beautified and brilliant
inside your eyes
And I’m drowning
while you waft by dreaming
of a picture-perfect me
that lit up
every one of your sick fantasies
And that… deifies me, doesn’t it?

A small sector of a religion
Worship-able
Powerful I guess,
I needed to feel so craved

You cherished that glorious girl
legs wide-spread
expressionless but wide-eyed
and paranoid
Your award winning brain polaroid recorded

You’ll die thinking of me

Your old man, young boy
wet dream