I once sang operas and burned candles
in a place made holy by nothing but myself
and whatever there was
 — Charles Bukowski.

And for a while I lived with a very artistic couple
in an old convent in New Orleans with 16 bathtubs
and 16 toilets, huge rooms above and below
and one massive staircase to separate us—
they would speak to me from it.
But I was starving as they made their art,
and used to sneak into their pantry
to slip my finger inside the peanut butter jar,
snip a piece of cracker, and once I cried,
tears formed from what lifejuice I did not know
remained, when I saw their well-fed
turds floating in the bowl.

But I also had parties to which they were not invited,
and I danced and drank with many ladies
all screaming and screaming through
ribs of hunger blues until one morning
I was awakened by the female from upstairs
ordering me to leave the convent
and I actually lay in bed thinking
I was too old, at twenty-one,
to have nowhere to live,
before going back
to sleep.