By Darlina

I finally found a home

after two years being labeled “homeless,”

or, the “chronically homeless”


I wonder if I still am—

I guess I had fit the qualifications

they had written on the questionnaire


My experience of

poverty and violence

put me there


I love my new home

despite the labels

and the ongoing fear of

losing a home



I wonder if I belong anywhere,

even in my own home


I look out the window at the city below,

the wind chill factor way below—

my expectations way below


A man I had given a dollar to months before

brought a mattress to sleep behind the dumpster

right across from my window


I wish I could invite him into the building,

into the warmth


I never will


Every morning as I go to work

or somewhere

I see him


He looks at me

not perverted, not angry,

he looks at me with such sincerity,

with such loneliness


All I could do is look back at him,

into his eyes

and offer him a home,

of sorts