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Modern Day Jesus



The first light of Christmas morning

Caught Garbage Can Joe just like any other day

He knew it was Christmas but didn’t much care

His gifts came in thrown out boxes and wrapping paper

To give him warmth for another evening

Maybe he would score an extra stash of beer cans

And he was ready with an empty shopping cart,

He cashed in what he could the night before

Enough to get a pint or two when the stores opened again

Joe was hoping for a good hit, to help him through

Remembering his war days out in the desert

Fighting useless fights against Iraqi children

Where he lost his name and is sanity

His only reality beat in his head, like a jack hammer

Day after day after day.



Marie was in bad shape

She was found on her hands and knees by two junked up head trips

Her arm bleeding from the track marks

That resembled a railroad yard running up and down her left arm

Her right arm was no better, broken in two places

From another beating by her pimp for not bringing in any cash

She had reason; she was pregnant, although it barely showed

The head trips ran when Marie rolled on her side

Clutching her stomach and screaming bloody murder

It’s coming she yelled, but to no one in particular

Who gave a damn on these streets, just another junkie, just another day

FUUUUUUUCCKKKK she yelled out on last time, and then a cry

A small innocent whimper and Marie reached for the cord

And tore it with her teeth, shuttering in horror and relived finally of the pain

She crawled a few feet away to some worn blankets or shirts

Wrapped the child lifted a nearby lid and laid it on top of some lost feast.




Jose dealt drugs since he was 12,

before that he was a lookout for the previous corner hustler

at 15 he killed his dealer on orders from the top

all to prove himself and to increase profits going to the neighborhood boss.

He ‘met’ Marie during a gang rape initiation; it was his first, Marie’s too

Several months later he became her supplier and her torturer

He gave her drugs for free, and he got his kicks for free in exchange

Nine months later she pushed out the baby,

it had been that long since she last saw Jose, he wanted younger girls

Little did Marie know Jose was shot the night before, by another pimp

There would be no funeral for Jose, no church bells, no family claiming him

Those that knew him just moved on, it was the way of the neighborhood

Everything was expendable, and the people were just empty vessels

Carcasses to do what was told of them, no asking question, no getting answers



Joe found the baby in the second dumpster

It was wrapped in the soiled blood-stained towels and torn skirt of Marie

The umbilical cord hung like a dead eel shriveled on the beach, left to die

The baby only whimpered when Joe lifted him gently into his arms

The baby was smooth and soft, the color of a creamed coffee

The baby cooed at Joe, and Joe called him Jesus, and then he waited

He pulled the shivering Jesus closer into his tattered flannel shirt

Deep beneath his dirt stained army jacket feeling deeply alone

And he waited and he waited, but the wise men never came.










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