Excerpts From the Literary Magazine Written by the Homeless: Short, Sweet, Written on a Receipt

A reprint from The Pilgrim.
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A reprint from The Pilgrim.

The Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston (c. 1908), home to The Pilgrim. (Photo: Boston Public Library/Flickr)

Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared in our January/February 2017 print issue as a sidebar to “Street Scribes.”

Shame, like whiskey, is not for children.
Shame is no laughing matter.
If there is a mote of hubris left in you,
homelessness can beat it out
like a washerwoman beating a rug.
My first hour with an empty cup outstretched
taught me that invisibility had
always been in my grasp. Shame
tastes like too many cigarettes
staving off our unspeakable hunger.