It was dusk as she crossed the abyss, an intersection in West Hollywood. Everything was coming down. A homeless man set up in a patch of grass just off the boulevard. He was sleeping when she walked by earlier, his hat pulled over his face and she was astounded he could find a bit of peace in the racket. Now he was sitting up adjusting his hat over his grizzled face. She tried to avert her eyes but had made a choice not to avert her eyes at anything, not her faults, not at anything she didn’t want to see for any reason, not at one more homeless person,. You had to be smart about these things, as some things or beings could engage and pull you in for the wrong reason; they could hurt you. You had to be careful. He looked up just as she made the decision to say hello to this man everyone had been avoiding. He smiled. He probably wasn’t more than 25, from Arkansas or Oregon. She smiled, then decided to give him the paper bag with her warm dinner from KooKooRoo’s. That part wasn't planned. He smiled even more as he sat next to his altar of lozenge cans, folded clothes and shoes. He carefully took the paper bag. She turned off the main artery onto a side street blooming with flowers and trash cans. She understood that as he ate dinner, so she would be fed too.
Posted by Joy Harjo at 4:31 PM