City of Brotherly…

knowing the difference
between yourself and your
shadow is a good thing

knowing the difference
between your ass and a
roll of toilet paper is
even better
and I was young
and didn’t know the
difference as I walked
my ass down the street
the neighborhood wasn’t bad,
it was tranquil with impending
fog coming in from the
Golden Gate
and, of course the occasional
snails and leaves whose universes
were destroyed by a careless shoe
and as I was walking,
trying to find the difference
between my ass and a roll of
toilet paper, an old man walked
towards me and stopped
he was hyperventilating
and another man, perhaps in his
40s, was close by
can you help me, the old
man said. I’m disoriented,
I don’t know where I’m at
and the 40 year old
man looked at the old
man and waved him away
Get away from me,
the man said
And the old man walked
unsteadily ahead, passing
me by
He was gone
before the words
could form in
my throat
And now,
more than 30 years
later, the words come:
Hey old man,
where’d you go
that day?
Are you still
I’m sorry
I didn’t
help you
I didn’t know
what to do
I didn’t know
my ass from
a roll of toilet paper
But what I
want to know
Are you still
here, are you
still around?
(c) 2014 Tony Robles

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