Measuring The Night In Sanctuary

by Jolie Blond

I am holed up
in my homeless veterans’ shelter dorm room
like a bank robber.

Here I sit
in my seedy warehouse district hideout
as if on the lam from the cops.

There should be the flashing neon lights
of an across-the-street all night diner
blinking into my fourth floor window,
but there’s not.

Across the street from my window
is a trucking warehouse
and a troubled teenager re-education center,
both highly fenced
and daylight-only concerns,
so there is no blinking neon
to measure the night for me.

There is also
no ever-present roommate
to measure the night for me here
any more.
No Ant
playing his beloved Civilization Playstation game
in between airings of The Simpsons,
muttering under his breath
that the Zulus
or the barbarians
or the Romans
were out to get him.

I spent a fair amount of time on the internet last night
looking at recent photos of the New Orleans Mardi Gras
trying to spot him in the crowds.

I know he’s down there somewhere,
having his New Orleans
hobo adventure . . .
and I could’ve gone, too,
leaving this Inglewood sanctuary
to add the New Orleans Mardi Gras
to my own long list
of hobo adventures . . .
but I’ve stayed behind
and now I must find new ways
to measure the night in sanctuary.

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