|Jul/Aug 2006 Poetry Special Feature|
The visitor slept on linen newspaper
under corrugated blankets in the guest room
beneath this window.
Courteous, taking only what's needed,
leaving the rest for others, people did not see him
in the mosaic of wrappers, cartons, and bones.
Walking all day in thin flannel, the caller
came with plastic luggage and a dinner
of frozen toothpaste and bagels.
As heaven released its white misery, evening
nibbled at his skin. A bed of coffee grounds
and broken eggshells beckoned.
A drone in the dumpster walls,
morning's psalm chanted for the refugee
from illness or accident or perhaps responsibility.
A few embers of beer bottle gold glowed
as thirst in his throat.
Be it freedom's cruel hoax,
a crime, misfortune, or a hard sentence,
he moved stiffly through the refuse of our days.
He took it. It belonged to him.