{A Memory}

There was a day I saw a man flat on the ground
in the red dirt beside the rutted road.
Foaming at the mouth, his whole body shaking 
I can still remember his wrecked form.

I’ve been told that people will fake a seizure,
to get help, to get money, to be pitied.
I wonder how one teaches their limbs
to rattle and their mouth to fall open, gurgling with saliva.

How desperate one must be to make
themselves vulnerable enough to collapse
on the dust-ridden side of a Nairobi street
and utter guttural noises until a person,
conflicted as I am now,
falls on their knees, a kind of
compassion in their eyes.

There are no answers here, friend.
Only an observation ― a paying of respect
to someone, somewhere, maybe.


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