They had less need to see the one, than we to see the other. “The smell of urine permeated the air, and blood from a visible foot wound had been washed into a pool on the ground with a discarded Band-Aid,” a real estate broker said. The Angel of Commodity came down to wrap her wings around the pavilion and sell us sunscreen. The Angel of Desire came next, offering unobstructed ocean views and the scent of tropical flowers. The homeless, we're told, are happy in their lifestyles; they take drugs, after all. Sell blinders to the tourists. Do not let them leave their armored hotels; they might see a man by Costco clutching a black book to his chest, or another whose sign reads: “Hungry Vet, God Bless.” Do not let them witness, lest they testify to Waikiki's “shame.” A row of tents lines the Kalihi stream, punctuated by red shopping carts caught in mud. A man stands on the bridge, blue fishing net in hand. It's Easter, so let them die; see if they rise. Let the green flash assign the holy ghost his next meal. Better yet: ship them all to the Big Island.
--4 April 2015