No Return by Jon Bennett

The guest speaker
is the man
with the colostomy bag
I can see it bulge
from under his shirt
in all its
brown glory
“I’m very happy to be here,”
he says
and goes on to explain
how lonely he is
because it’s Christmas,
he has no family
and in his SRO hotel
he can smell
the meth and crack
in the hallways
so he rarely leaves his room
Things might’ve worked out
but for his liver failure,
the drink took a toll
and now
it’s too late for him
to ever be normal again
I’m really glad
I came tonight,
I got a lot out of it.

Jon Bennett
Jon Bennett is a writer and musician living in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find his music on Pandora and iTunes, and a selection of his writing at For books, correspondence, or cds, email



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