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Oak Onaodowan
Booth (as heard on “Process” remix)

I left a man once and he found me later.  Some time ago from the future, I exit the subway and gaze at a ghost.  The shadow  of a person,  who's light burned so bright it boiled his blood and muddled his mind. There is fear in his beard and neglect fills his belly as he sits like a soured sage asking for change.  Mumbling about the cold, nose drusted, that's dry and crusted, eyes out of tears for years he's been hiding in my narrative as a story to be told.   A punchline of that time in my life before things took flight,  but our shared moment was the height of  Those eyes.


       Goin on about a historical figure who shares your surname a damn shame what you have become Michael?  How long had you been running before you lost your shoes Michael?   Was it drugs or an imbalanced electrical current in the mind,  I find myself helping you up off the ground.  The palms of your hands are harder than the heartache and high stakes of your breaking,  and each article of clothing is covered in text,  words,  lyrics to songs you used to sing,  I think.   Whatever you want to eat it's my treat I speak,  you speak of Mac,  a heart attack I can't condone so grab & go we go. 

       You stumble through the door of the store and we make eye contact but each word you shoot past me to an ear we will never hear,  eyes we will never see,  a face that has been with you when all others turned away including today.  You grab only an apple.   A store ripe with more than you can chew,  but only an apple you choose.  You mutter some more and hold my eyes for only seconds at a time.   "Maybe an orange" you say to a sandwich.    Okay I reply, then you look me deep in the eye and respond in kind "of course an orange, Oak you are indeed Nigerian." and then gone again. You mention my name,  in this brief pause in time my heart has balled up as I look up to find you far ahead the mental moment that I am drowning in.   

I'm sorry Michael.  

Take this protein bar.  

I'm sorry Michael.

I'm adding a cookie as well.

  I'm sorry Michael.  

A sandwich,  some more fruit?

  I'm sorry Michael.

       I pay,  we leave.   Michael sees me,  I hug him. His crested breath is a scented banner of his bastard bloodline. He squeezes tight.  He holds my eyes as his hands try and find his heart.   Once his palms press against his chest thank yous stream down his cheeks. He leaves me. I left him.   Years ago,  I turned my back and offered not a hand.  A hug. Not even an ear.  I will find you again.  I will continue to be better. I won't loose my faith.

  Let this parable not be the tale of the woes I felt but the ways I failed to help him. Let this tale not elicit sympathy for me but empathy for he.  Do not take these words and obscure the pure fact that I acted not in the best interest of mankind.  Intertwined in the twilight of time is a rhyme of sorts I cant seem to sort out its source.  But regardless of the previous phrase I put forth, I know this....I am the wolf in this tale, Michael's riding hood is red. And he is indeed a dead man walking, and for every lost breathe he draws i dedicate a dollar, a moment of my time, a fist bump, an honest attempt at eye contact, a subway swipe, a slice of pizza, a piece of myself in honor of the memory of what he could have been, how he was, and who he can still be.  His name is Michael Booth.  I pray he never finds his Lincoln.


The En.d