James Diaz

No Small Mercies Here

Spare change
spare change

out here
I’m always asking 
for what I need 

ain’t it what they teach you
out there in the valley
speak up little miss
gotta get your needs met

it’s like this for me
if I don’t make myself small enough to be pitied 
I’ll go to cement hungry tonight

I’ve never had what I’ve never had
how ’bout you?
have you felt it too?
the cold sidewalk fucking up your back?

I don’t need your pity
I just need your change 

pity’s just a clever word 
for the guilt you feel 
at things being this way

just dig down in your pocket for me 
and see what’s there 
might be nothing to you
but it’s everything to me

the pigeons know 
what it is I’m feelin’ tonight
right, pigeons!! 
you; you haven’t got a clue, 
do you?

it’s like this
the whole world is yours 
except for everything in it

I know I scare you 
I scare myself 
sometimes 
catch a glimpse 
in a shop window
and I think it must be a ghost
what I am now 

Jesus died 
cause he said take care of folks like me
and the whole damn world 
said we’ll have none of that
and here we are
and winter is coming on 
and I don’t blame you for being scared
you should be
this is the world you made
me, I’m just scraping by in the shadows
staying small enough 
to not break your goddamn heart 

it’s ok, I won’t hurt you
but you gotta live with this

can you live with this?
cause I sure as hell can’t—
not for long, mister,
not for long.

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