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I see a room with yellow walls and brown curtains, a small table and an old couch.

In the middle, a man, his chin down, the skin around his neck bunched up, purple, brown, red and yellow.

Somewhere there are people who love him, but not here, not in this room. Tomorrow everybody will ask why, but for now he is just there in that room.

Some days the man looks vaguely familiar, some days I know who he is, and some days I see myself swaying in that room waiting to be found.
a woman stands in the median
on washington avenue
waiting for the traffic to cease
so she can cross the street
wearing a floral dress that
hangs off her round belly
her cardigan flapping in the wind
the bag in her hand full of groceries
she watches each car pass
and crosses the street when its cleared
and she walks off into the distance
moving slowly down the sidewalk
before taking a left several blocks down
and i wonder
in the morning
when she puts on her hose
and looks at the purple lines
on her legs
does she remember that little girl
who wanted to play the flute in 6th grade?
I’ve never been decisive about anything.
standing in wal mart, looking at
two dollar fishing lures,
i research each model online
compare and contrast the styles
learn about the specific fish each lure works for
and compare that information to the location i want to use them at.
i am not a fisherman.
and yet, nine months after i met you,
i told my dad that i wanted to marry you.
a year after later i bought a wedding ring
without thinking about it.
i knew exactly what it should look like,
and bought the most expensive one i could afford.
when my parents forced me to choose:
you or them;
that was hard,
but only because i had fond memories of my childhood
that i knew i would never see again.
ive never been sure about anything,
ive always questioned everything,
but ive never questioned my love for you.
if breathing were a choice
i would put more thought into that,
but my love for you
just is.
Declan ODonohue Dec 2019
The sun is below the horizon
and the light wispy clouds
glow with soft hues of red and orange.
I look down at my feet and then pick myself up,
its time to go.

In every direction people are walking. Fast, like the worlds gonna leave then behind. Important looking people, wearing slender shoes and high heels. They look straight ahead as they go, and the traffic stops for them. I grab my bag, heavy with stuff, and step off.

They walk around me as if I were a plague. I see them coming, I try to find a kind face, but there are none so I keep walking. My legs ache, my muscles refuse to move faster and my bag is so heavy. My head feels like a lead balloon that floats with great effort.

12th and Mass.  The ****** patrol here at night, but know its just the walkers. One brushes past to make the light, wiping her hand on her pants as she does so.

I must have a disease. Everyone else can see it and it disgusts them. Maybe its written on my face, but I dont know. My arm aches as I cross the street, so I set my bag on the sidewalk and rub my resentful back.

A man walks by, slowly towing a small elderly dog behind him. He has a kind face, shining blue eyes that seek to connect without speaking a word. He softly coaxes the dog along with one hand while holding two more on the other. Everyone sees the tiny dogs. They turn their heads, stop in their tracks and make baby noises at creatures worth more than me.

I am surrounded by people but I am not among them. I am the vermin they cant get rid of but wish didnt exist. Even the pidgeons are more welcome than I; yet I remain unable to go, unable to stay. The man walks back by with the old dog in tow; he looks at me and I feel my power return. To be human is not a permanent condition, but a look from a stranger can bring it back.

I ask him for money, spare change, anything. He says he doesnt have anything, but he's sorry, and I pet the old dog.

The small creature gazes at me through cloudy eyes, wags his tail, and lets out a grunt. For just a moment I exist, and then I move on to face the cold night.
Declan ODonohue Jun 2019
sometimes when youre away
i feel like i am alone in a dark room
after the long summer is over
and all of the leaves have fallen
i feel their absence like a part of me is
and when youre away
i feel like
there is
Declan ODonohue May 2019
Driving down K street
where it intersects with N Capitol
there is a man
kneeling in the street
looking up at a white Mercedes
staring at his own reflection
in the gloss of the paint
his image distorted
but strangely familiar
under a dark hood
matted hair
and the faint hint of eyes
dark passages inside
the driver is trained
not to respond
not to acknowledge
not to connect
society shuns those on the outside
and nobody challenges it
so i get up and leave
only to try again tomorrow.
Declan ODonohue May 2019
when i see two strangers
holding each other tightly
on the corner of H and 4th
your lips next to my ear
and eyes open wide
its like you never left
but only for an instant
and then the train rolls past
and the signal turns
and i am off to Giant
to get maseca
Another old mushy one.
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