I walk up the steep hill
of Seventeenth avenue
climbing up to the sky,
but reach an oasis:

The Jordanian market
on Taraval Street,

The only place I can buy
falafal, fresh fetta cheese,
lavasch and kashkiaval.

On my way I pass an old lady
waving from a second floor.
She smiles when I wave back.

She wants human contact
to ease the rock-bottom pain
of the well of loneliness,

even if it is with someone
she doesn’t know.

We need each other like hens who die
unless they have one other hen
to cluck around with.

Lonesome folks are everywhere
who drink themselves to sleep
or sleep with television on.

Widowers who remain alone
die within a year.

Won’t somebody keep me company
so I can know I exist?