Livingston, Unemployed

The other day, around five o’clock, I was passed
by joggers and I thought
I don’t work or jog.
Good thing there are afternoons
when I am protected by a procession of hours
that don’t change one to the other.

I visited the junk store on the east side of town
today, a cop tried to talk
to a vicious man who flipped him off
and when I left I tried something different.
I put headphones on. As I scrolled through
my music, I thought, I don’t want to hear
any of this, until Ghostface Killah
The Pretty Toney Album
of all things.

I chose a new route, realizing how important it is to me
and always has been
to walk all the streets
and all the alleys
and the perimeters of all the parks
so that I know where I can turn
and what I should be looking for.

But then I came out on a street
different than expected
and I had a dreamlike premonition:
this isn’t the town I thought it was.
I am in purgatory
and I’ll walk this way forever
listening to this crazy music.
And I felt glad, glad
my days are empty, so life can go slow.
How crucial it was
to stand by the river today.