I don’t want to know
are sitting there
like a stone in the middle
of a stream
we part ways
flowing around you as we walk past
your silent form
head bowed
hands outstretched
to receive
the pittance of our generosity
dropping into the bottomless pit
of your despair
trapped in that place
where I don’t want to hear
the story of the little boy
who never grew up
to be the man
you once dreamed you would become.

I don’t want to see
the scars
etched deep into your skin
the needle marks
and tracts of pain
visible to the naked eye
where you huddle
in your emaciated body
craving the thing that will fix
it all
if only for a moment
so that you can forget
the story of how you came to be
in this place
where people pass you by
not wanting to see you
sitting in their way.

I saw you yesterday
and my heart broke
at the sight of you
waiting silently
for someone to say
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry this happened to you
I saw you and I felt helpless
and I’m sorry for not stopping
to say, I see you
even though I knew
seeing you wouldn’t really make a difference
because you can’t see
sitting there
you can only see the one you lost
long ago
on your journey to becoming
the silent one
sitting on the side of the street
where I walked by
without seeing you.