Lowlife

Photograph by Jose Padua
I have suffered through one million
broken hearts; been slain countless times
by convulsions of laughter brought about
by the clever absurdity of puns, jokes, and witticisms;
kept my left and better ear pressed to the grass
in the hopes to gaining knowledge that was
both arcane and beneficial to my well-being;
and have even seen in the forest something more
than just the conglomeration of individual trees.
Then on Sunday it was one o’clock
when the odor of skunk entered the house
because of an incident on the street outside,
the air thick like the innards of clouds
and still as mysteries buried in closets
or underneath creaking floorboards.
In the summer praying mantises crawl
the vines growing on the worn-down siding,
their light green blending in with every
crack and crevice. And I pledge my allegiance
to everything that lies beneath the surface
of things, each gesture that destroys the idioms
of wealth and its indifference as I remember
all the low lives, honor all bottom feeders
everywhere and anytime who have lost
the battle yet continue to wage this slow,
deliberate war of worlds.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua

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