With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
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Two alleys down from the bodega, where I found you that time. Under the defunct, overturned hot tub that once or twice served as your roof. Near the law-office dumpster brimful with secretary gifts, unopened and tossed and good for barter — evidence, you said, of a boss who got out of line.
At the needle-exchange room. In the shed with the rope-handled door behind the foreclosed blue house the neighbors stripped of copper plumbing.
In the newspaper’s morning arrest report. On the jail roster. At the county coroner’s lost and found.
At the food bank Wednesday, the breadline Friday, the missionary soup kitchen all other nights. At the food-stamp application window.
Beneath the overpass where street people stash their works.
Every last place I’ve ever ferried you to retrieve a hidden duffel of your own: the rock at the edge of the pocket park, the bullet-pocked power box for the city, the construction-site castoff heap, the evergreen freeway embankment.
If I find just a vestige, I think, I will rest.