The Glass-eyed City
Home had been this cardboard box
and sundry boards placed just so,
broken on the ground now,
with his books and magazines
scattered and torn.
Might as well have picked him up
and shredded him into pieces
and thrown him into the breeze
that crossed the sidewalk.
His flashlight lay in pieces,
its spring exposed
like a broken spinal cord
on the black asphalt of the parking lot.
his belongings fit
in the cardboard box and he had no home
because this act of breaking
had taken the small hope
that had found dignity in some boards.
I have nothing he thought
with the golden Buick stopped,
and said, in matter of fact words,
that flashlight’s broken,
not knowing the importance of a flashlight
in the darkness of some lives.
The gangly, skinny kid with eyes like sky
on a cloudless day trusted the other
who no one trusted.
Trust built from talk of car engines.
You want to go for a ride, he asked,
and something happened then
something invisible and sweet.
This man of no hope,
let a piece of his heart out,
let it float there in the air between them
then clasp onto this kid
of infinite possibility.
The box with all his belongings got smaller
as they drove into the glass-eyed city.
He turned and saw it
small and inconsequential on the sidewalk.