POEM: Lunatic in the Street

i saw a lunatic pacing at the edge of the street

a man overdressed in the way of those who have no place to hang a hat and an abiding fear that anything left out of sight will vanish — no matter how tattered, malodorous, and undesirable an object of theft said item may be

as he paced, his soliloquy never ceased:

“i’ve been down there; i followed it all the way down to the bottom.

“i saw what resides in the bankrupt bowels of this magnificent megalopolis.

“i looked in its burning eyes, and it would have killed me if it’d thought me worthy.

“i won’t flattery myself to think it took pity on me. no. it just didn’t find me worth its effort.

“it’s waiting. you’ll see. you’ll all see. someday it’s gonna bust its way up here.

“that’ll be our judgement day. could be tomorrow. could be in a million years…”

my first thought was that the man was insane and needed medication

my second thought was that any disaster that brings humanity to its knees will be heralded by a disheveled person ranting about an incomprehensible threat

i did the only thing i could do. i played the odds, figuring that since there are far more lunatics than humanity-devouring disasters; i went about my day as usual

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