Letters On Homelessness

Photography by  Carmen Peña

Photography by Carmen Peña

By Anthony Orion Nuñez

To the Man that Prays for Me

I don’t believe in God the way I used to and I don’t know if I ever will. But you told me once, that God was opening doors for you and that I was one of those doors. I don’t know how true that is, but maybe I am. Maybe God is working through me. Maybe He believes in me more than I think. Maybe, someday, I’ll believe in him again. Maybe someday soon.

With eyes on the stars,

Someone searching for light

To the Woman with the Smiles of Our Mothers

We see the love in you. In all of you. The way it cradles your baby and holds high the chin of your eldest son. The sort that coats ego with honey making its bitterness easier to swallow. The type that defends. The kind that stays. And as this love shields your children know that it will become a part of them. All of them. That it already has.

With gratitude,

The sons of the world

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To the Man with Time

Your eyes are my father’s. The same pools of love and redwood that once held me the way they hold your son now. In them I find pieces of home and of days long past. Of 4th of July weekends in the desert of West Texas, my eyes fixated on roman candles and sparklers, their light like dying, handheld stars. Of summers where my fear of running out of time was met with my father’s reassurance that, time is all we’ve got. I see the same fear in your son’s eyes. And you see it too. You comfort him with the words of my father and suddenly he believes in the future. When I meet your gaze, so do I.

With infinity,

Someone who believes

To the Writer

From a writer on writing. Keep telling stories. Keep creating words that give way to phrases, phrases that give way to paragraphs, paragraphs to pages, pages to people, places, and things all tethered in the worlds you will create and have created.  Keep writing. Always. Always, always, always, in all the ways that you can because no one will remember this life the way that you do.

With future congratulations,

A fan of your work and of your heart

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To the Man from Years Before

When we met, you were on a street corner and I passed you by. I didn’t intend on walking back that way, but something compelled me to. I came back with a sandwich, which I offered to you. You took it and said, God bless you and then I left. That was seven years ago, but I can still hear the soft rasp of your voice. I can still see the depth of your blue eyes. I can still see you. I hope you are nowhere near that corner or any corner or any place that you don’t have and want to be. And as I’ve wished for everyone I’ve written about so far, I hope you are happy. I hope you are holding onto hope. Thank you for showing me the importance of human kindness.

With a million sandwiches,

Someone who remembers