Skid Row Brunch on Me

after the midnight mission,
the morning robbery,
heralded heartbreak,
a gathering of freaks,
a part of the tribe breaks off
and goes to a diner.

the waitress looks horrifed
at what she has to deal with,
and I look like them,
because I have been lighting fire
to the idea of living. 

even for junkies, pugilists and poets
it is too late for breakfast,
but too early for lunch,
so we split pancakes for the table
and jockey for chili, coffee.

one guy, called Calp,
isn't wearing shoes,
and the woman he is with
steals all the toilet paper,
while I put a steak knife in my pocket
for protection, because I never
know when these fine gone fools
will turn on me, the reporter. 

luckily, I don't need their drugs,
or their flop houses, but I do 
need them for more than just
a story or art;
I need them for laughter
and reminders that people
are people no matter
the scummy circumstances.