The Excluded

The Ocean and the Bay Area

Clumsy piano notes

invade the hostel lounge

“Blowin’ In The Wind”

but failing in its sounds.

The German man insists

he wants to do it right.

Some ugly noise comes out,

everybody annoyed

yet no one dares to speak.


The hostel girl appears:

“Could you play maybe

a little less loud?”

He heard but cannot listen.

The ugly sounds remain:

Our ears, our patience…

Music classes first, sir,

and then you’re welcome back.

Yet no one dares to speak.


Before that, laying on the sofa

spoke words in his head

as if insane, tormented,

his trousers ragged, unwashed,

careless, alone, excluded.


After that, the New Yorker

wants to call a taxi

waits for me but I

am not ready yet.

Credit card lost, blocked.

Now I feel safe.

“I am ready”, I tell him.

Another strange man,

says he comes from New York

gets everything messed up

while the German man

hits ugly piano notes

still blowin’ in the wind.


The New Yorker and I

get finally on a taxi.

“Use the right lane, man”,

he says, “It is faster”.

Eritrean taxi driver

does what he can

needs to turn left.

How could he use

the other lane?

I tell that but

the New York man

does not understand.


Bags filled with food,

huge suitcase, two more bags.

How can he travel so?

I offer my help

give him money, my part

of the taxi shared.


More complications come

at the hostel he complains:

“Why pay this tax?

Can I have a copy of that?”

Life is already difficult

then why complicate it more?

He knows no better, I think.


Want to leave, embarrassed,

yet I wait, help him

carry loads of futile,

unnecessary luggage.

Now his card key

not opening the dorm room.

He goes downstairs and

new key in his hand

that finally opens.


“Goodnight”, I say.

Another strange

difficult person, excluded?


I look in the mirror

see the shadow of a woman

who never seems to fit in.

Am I also the excluded?



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