not enough coins for all the beggars, by r.t. castleberry

A rising sun’s crimson marks
the blinds of bedroom windows,
seeps to stripe floor and mirror.
Everything is in order here—
the half glass of brandy,
full bottle of bourbon.
Newspaper heaps,
the bookmarked volumes of a war
clutter the coffee table.
Pandora rolls the bar stool rock of childhood,
lyrics for love, for deception.

Rough plank of life in poverty
exercises inattention, the inner tension
of distraction and impatience.
It pulls those lost to temper or abuse
from the sleeper’s pillow, blanket sleep
beneath thrift store canvases
of anointing jar, the Jerusalem pyre.
I turn back to pacing, adding
present and future sums
to assess my poisoned station.

Disruption takes me to the sidewalk.
I forgot the humbling sky, searing day
burning exertion to ash in the wind.
A hobo croaks his way
through the Centennial song.
The dirty yellow of a vest
saves the crosswalk beggar,
her heaped cans in a shopping cart.
Striving to decide for necessity or need,
I tip my bantam cap to ruins of memory.

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