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To My Policymakers

Give me a page
and I’ll give you a monument,
leaning haphazardly
like a staggering drunk,
a lopsided photograph,
a mirror tilted forward to the feet;
like an off-center catwalk,
brown paper bag strut
in an empty alley way,
stale six am whisky
breathing on cold marble steps.
I’ll sing you a jingle
slurred to the left
the rasp of white crusted lips
cracking at sunrise,
nicotine melodies for breakfast
and a spot of tea.
I’ll dance in the gutters,
kick up the outpourings
of three am frenzies
while wondering if the Rain Man
ever tasted the rain.


Kathleen Bernock is a nursing student at Columbia University working towards her degree as a Certified Nurse Midwfie.  She earned her Bachelor’s in San Francisco, where she became involved in advocacy for the homeless, writing and working as interim editor for the Street Sheet, a publication aimed at changing policy and sold by those experiencing homelessness.  She also worked for a non-profit serving survivors of torture seeking asylum in the states and campaigning against the use and promotion of torture by the U.S. government as well as a non-profit involved in grassroots international interfaith dialogue.




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