January 2006 /Volume Seven / Issue One
Nescher Pyscher
killing the flower

yesterday i had to chase a woman off

she was sleeping in a stairwell attached to our
building, her purse wrapped carefully around her
neck, her head pillowed on her arms, her
legs curled up tight into her stomach

she wore a cute little hat that covered her head
and hid her face from me in a perfectly
posed sort of way, a baggy sweatshirt,
and loose-fitting, dirty blue jeans

she lay on the bottom of the flight of stairs, young
and vulnerable and somehow beautiful in a dusty
sort of way, and in a different sort of circumstances
i probably would've smiled at her and hoped for a return smile

but i stood at the top of our stairs
looking down at her where she lay
like a dead body and my heart went out to her

but they don't pay my heart

so i woke her up and i scared her
and i asked her to leave
and she called me 'sir', and i couldn't
look her in the eye, and i chased her off
and i felt like a sell-out bastard-servant to the man

i did not bind her wounds

i did not wash her feet

i did not give her any food or drink or money
or anything else other than a hard time
that she can get anywhere from
anybody just for being who she is

and i am ashamed