Daniel: Death by Proxy . . . (The Sacred Years)

I stop by Daniel’s place.
It’s 1:30 in the early morning.
Daniel is busy watching movies.
His dogs are barking at me incessantly.
I take a seat upon the vacant couch.
It’s not movies . . . it’s not movies at all.
Daniel’s sitting there quietly watching old reruns of past-lives.

Barb is in the kitchen practicing speaking like Betty Crocker.
It’s Daniel’s voice that is uniquely him.
That quiet soft loving Daniel.
I go into the kitchen and pour myself a cup of coffee.
I spill some upon the floor.
I did not clean it up.
Barbara was not too happy about this.
She said repeatedly “Leaving it up to me the maid to clean it up.”
I apologized several times but it did not soothe her irritated bosom.

I like coming to visit Daniel.
He’s so very kind . . . like a rare light in a darkened neighborhood.
He shares some of his meager rations with me.

It is night.
“the huddled masses”* are sleeping in the midnight blackened city.
But in the darkness, in the middle of the city, sits Daniel.
He’ so . . . so . . . well . . . you know . . . unafraid.
An old broken Las Vegas light emitting from his heart.
A subtle peanut butter milkshake at Tommy’s on a busy Saturday night.

The electric TV is flooding his handwritten portrait.
His brain memory center is filled with old poems.
He never typed them up . . .
Like old socks on the floor in the closet.

He’s so intent on helping the helpless.
He doesn’t care that he is without money.
He doesn’t pay rent anyhow.
Like an aging Achilles he takes nourishment from the fragrant day old bakery runs.
You know, the stuff he drives in the back of his pickup downtown at 3 AM.
To the homeless and the hungry
Daniel . . . a hand painted wing-ed midnight saint wrapped in a faded cotton army fatigue.
A master at healing the poor with aging notebook poetry.
Delivering jugs of water and bags filled with old baked goods to the desperate.
I don’t know where he got the money for living.
In the afternoon love of his eclectic eternity.
He stands before the light.
Daniel . . . sweet, sweet Daniel.

Peter Leon
*”The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus


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