Oct/Nov 2006 Poetry

I bought charms from the old man

by Rohith Sundararaman

Photo by Jim Gourley

I bought charms from the old man

by a curb and he smiled
from the corners of his lips
which widened into an arch:
ivory keys of a derelict piano.
His hands trembled—
an epicenter of wreck—
as he gave me the bauble.
His forehead bled sweat
and the air thickened all over
us like gravy. He waved
me away as I slung the charm
over my head. It caught
the light and glinted stars
from my throat. I looked
up at the sun as it hung
from the middle of nowhere
like the proud medallion
of an austere God.


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