Yesterday a man screaming on the sidewalk while I stood waiting for my ride. Sprawled on the concrete outside the maternity clinic, the women and children inside focused hard on ignoring him, one of the kids occasionally catching my eye—weird skinny white dude, why’s he just standing there?—through the plate glass of the waiting room and looking away, curiosity unsatisfied, as the other older and way more horizontal white dude continued to writhe, his tattooed limbs arrayed at angles that did not immediately compute, nursing that bottle like a breast and yelling about Cambodia (who remembers that war?), about just 17 years old (could that have been true?), about 1967 (just in time for Operation Daniel Boone, no raccoon caps and Shawnee scalps this time), about I was too young! (no doubt), about they called me babykiller! (was he?), about the Purple Heart it won him (too young!), about how the cops know who he is, they run his name and a code comes up and they know not to fuck with him, which I suppose did him some small amount of good that Friday afternoon, hotter than it ought to be in March, the sun not yet low and the light not soft at all, the birds still arguing in the trees above the park. 

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