Warmth Borrowed

I’ve walked these streets
Since my bare childlike feet
Stumbled unknowingly
Over glass and stone
So desperately alone
In my blood and my bones
Within throngs of hardened faces.
I still remember these spaces,
Hungry and graceless,
Exploring, hoping to discover-
To unearth, to expose, or uncover
Some version of safe, or love, or
Home.

Home- that secret fantasy repeating
In all the orphans’ tiny beating
Hearts- ever keeping
The fire kindled, the native
But long forgotten language
Like the memory of a pledge
Not yet redeemed,
But always blooming unseen
In the hidden depths of dreams,
And hopes fallen as wilted petals,
Blackened by the cold metals
Of bustling souls and pedestals
And ashes.

I looked up but once, I know,
There in the window, a glow
Of candles, and smoldering souls
Sharing some spark of smile,
Of tender warmth, and I, beguiled,
Lost the hard miles,
The frostbite, the feet that bled,
The serpentine paths that led
Through frigid humanity- instead
I fell in love with all I saw through the glass
A world unknown, unsurpassed,
Beyond my grasp,

But the only thing I’ve ever seen.

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