i had the night off.
so i called greg to come celebrate
my acceptance into the m.f.a. program.
we planned to grab a
smoke at Red Cloud then
hit Stubrik’s for a guiness stout.
he flaked. to play
poker in orange.

i kept moving forward.
caring less about the present.
not looking back.

so i took my night to the a.t.m.
pulled out a grand from my savings.
ten benjamins stuffed into my jeans.
i hate money. but this made
me feel good.
like i could
do things
i normally wouldn’t.

taking my confidence for a walk in my city.
thinking it would be cool to boost the commerce.
receiving a thrill from spending a bill
at the local gift shop.
but when the night came to an end
i still felt empty within.

later. much later. i had nightmares.
of hotels. NFL franchises. and war in Serbia.
hiding in disguises. running for freedom.
the details would make anyone sick.
i tossed and turned awaking at six.

i slipped on the cashmere sweater
with the moth hole in the back. and
my isotoner slippers that grandpa had bought.
headed to downtown
with nine bills in my pocket.

there was no sunshine.

i saw a woman. but couldn’t
make out if she was physically homeless.
i could just tell that her soul was alone and empty.

i took a picture of her. with
my camera phone.
she returned a blank stare.
her hair was duotone.
died red. but growing out at the roots.
born in the late fifties
but very very cute.
the tattooed teardrop
next to her left eye.
i could see her life was much more different
than mine.

i proceeded to hand her nine
one-hundred dollar bills.
they could have been one’s
and she still
would have been grateful.

she spoke. i listened.
she was the world’s biggest
loser magnet. except
today when it was a savior
she attracted.

this morning i saw the glow
of eternity. i took another
picture. but it came out blurry.

the internal happiness rushed.
on this day marked december sixth.
a feeling no camera could capture.
not even words. the meaning
of kindness
with acts
that are
not only

a grand.