The dopers
in the community pool
gather by five o’clock
and mostly stay sprawled
on the concrete steps
overlooking the water

Some waddle in the pool
looking like they’ve seen God

I swim up to one
and we almost touch hands in the air
palm to palm
I follow his every movement in turn
Move my hands with his

It wouldn’t be a lie to say
that every mirror I’ve ever had
has been a dope fiend
No good, lost dreamer
looking for his next break
thinking I’ll break his fall

They throw the long wet rags
that are their arms
around my neck
and keep me
while the water is still warm

How do you love a drifter?


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