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Little Jake approached me.
He knew that he knew me
but couldn’t remember my name.
I gave him a hug —
we’ve known each other
for seven years.

Jake, I said, “How are you?”
“Not good. I feel like
I’m walking in a fog.
I don’t know where I’m going…
Keep your money.
I don’t need anything.”

He drifted away
I was looking at a corpse.
He was still breathing,
but what I saw
was the ghost
of Little Jake.

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Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People
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