You Could be A Stranger, Zeke Sanchez

Fish Slough Petroglyph

You Could be A Stranger


You could hear them coughing
It wasn’t so cold like at night
They left white chicken wraps
Where they slept on flattened weeds
Like dogs who circle to make a bed.

My own dreams didn’t let
Me see their lined haggard faces
Imagined they would not know
What to say to me, the watcher
Knee-fallen from the railroad tracks

They push you back with palms outspread
You are the interloper to these unshaven men
Harsh weather and fearful, they
Don’t know you, whoever you are,
And have you (even) suffered?

Christ, who are you?
You could be this face or that man
A well-meaning stranger or worse
They don’t know you, and you curious
When you hear the coughing
On the shoulder of the track by the bullrushes
Where it’s dry.

Zeke Sanchez

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