Hair is matted and dirty, his clothes are old and soiled, he smells of the street.
His face mirrors a life on the street, old before his time, despair is now his life.
Pride less, he begs from strangers, a few coins to ride the bus, “ can you spare a dime?”
He enters the bus, he feels the stares, no longer bothered, he knows what he has become.
Among the working class he takes his seat, remembering when he too labored for pay.
His stare becomes fixed, she sits in front of him, her lovely long hair taunts him.
It becomes prey as it hangs over the back of her seat, helpless and inviting.
He raises his hands and brings them to rest on the seat in front of him, they wait.
Next to the long, shinny, sweet smelling hair, his hands begin to stalk.
Doubt and fear mix in his soul, as his fingers near the crown.
Dare he touch such a jewel, drawn to it like a thirsty beast to water, it beckons
Slowly, deliberately, he nears, only his thumb and forefinger will he risk.
Only a strand or so, he grasps, gently, lovingly, longingly, he grasps
Ever so carefully and gingerly, he rubs the precious strands between his fingers.
She stirs, and his fingers loose their perilous grip, their guilty touch.
She stills, his prey is still, again he reaches and renews his caress.
How insignificant the touch, how daring, how reckless the act, the touch.
How lonely the beast that once was man, an animal he has become
He knows what he looks like, he smells of the gutter the place where he sleeps.
This act that he commits in secret, he once boasted in public.
A man and his woman, a woman to hold and love, to be close to
To feel the beat of her heart against his chest intoxicated by her warm breath.
The heat of her flesh the smell of her hair, her whispers in his ear.
The thoughts of passions past overtake him, his grasp begins to tighten but he knows not.
His mind is filled with memories of a life that use to be, long ago it seems to be.
His victim stirs, like stalked prey, she senses something but knows not what.
He frees her hair, she glances back, a look of pity but no words she speaks.
The bus shutters to stop, in moment she is gone, still his fingers rub.
The memory of touch lingers, but only on them, they have their own thoughts.
This is how it must be for his mind is filled with only one thing, room for no more.
No room for love, for passion, for a home, only one thing controls him now.
His thoughts are on his addiction, this drives him now, it owns him now.
Yet for a brief and stolen moment, he remembered what it was like.
When he could feel and pleasure in the touch, the caressing of a woman.