A burlap bag taut on a bony rack
awful parched and scratchy brown
jonesing for a warm rain's slake,
he was a sisal sack of unhappy tack
when I chanced on him that summer,
his pithy brick grafitti combed over
a stenciled canvas of regular weave
with a misty green branding muttered
through the gone meander of himself.
After calling for the quench he craved
overlapping ripples from silver drizzle
plinked on a puddle in the shallow rain,
and I looked down at my own damned feet
scraped leather telescoped a mile down
splashed clean despite roccoco splatter
in the muddy district of stucco walls
where two brooding chalk eagles
proudly guarded the cute nausea
of embracing faux patina twins
tinkling on kissed pink blossoms.
None of this was or is to scale,
he was a bitter pill in a bitter shell
behind the kitchen curtains daily
a shadow hinting at the blackened sheen
of biscuits from the oven crumbling.
Which was mystery and which explained?
Be happy, be joyful a mantra
of another kind of scarlet death
in the data points that mattered
through the rasping of his noise:
and I never crossed with him again
except years later in a buzzing dream
while dozing on a warm park bench
when I chanced upon that beveled glass
and whispered three short phrases.