you haven't liveduntil you've been in a flophouse with nothing but one light bulb and 56 men squeezed together on cots with everybody snoring at once and some of those snores so deep and gross and unbelievable- dark snotty gross subhuman wheezings from hell itself.
your mind almost breaks under those death-like sounds
and the intermingling odors: hard unwashed socks pissed and shitted underwear
and over it all slowly circulating air much like that emanating from uncovered garbage cans.
and those bodies in the dark
fat and thin and bent
some legless armless
and worst of all: the total absence of hope
it shrouds them covers them totally.
it's not bearable.
you get up
go out walk the streets up and down sidewalks
around the corner
and back up the same street
those men were all children once
what has happened to them?
and what has happened to me?
it's dark and cold out here.