if there were any justice in this world
i would be living at 95th and state.
i would earn my income asking for pennies
from the itinerants coming into and out of town
on the greyhound buses
and from the commuters on the cta
begging to afford my next fix
of beer or food or water.
i would sleep in the alley
next to one of the closed-up shops
a fixture of brick standing behind black iron lattice
standing under a handpainted sign
resting my head
on a comfy pillow of corrugated cardboard
(if i was lucky enough to find one in a dumpster.)
i would own just a set or two of clothing
a small cloth sack, a few pens
and a weatherbeaten drugstore notebook
because spending all of that time
as an isolated fixture of the city
would leave me dying for a friend like that
by four in the morning.
i would exist almost anonymous
known only to the others of my station
the people i see every day at the stop
competing with me for those pennies
with no way to contact
the spectres from my past.
i would have nothing to say
to the curious people expecting me to amount
to someone who will change the world
or at least afford a fancy house
and a shiny car
because each day will be like the last
it wouldn't matter if i lived or died
and everyone would know it.
if there were any justice in the world
i would exist among the faceless, nameless throngs
at 95th and state.