Grizzled hair tight across a dark skull
he taps his way along walls
traversing De Chirico street scapes
bright and Sunday morning empty
near the LA airport.
‘How you doin’!’ voice robust, cheerful
when he hears me catch him up.
‘I have ten dollars in my hand,’ I offer,
‘do you know someone who might need it?’
not wanting to offend his pride.
‘I do.’ he said.
Later I find a small grocery
selling cactus pads among tomatoes and runner beans.
I buy a candle in a glass cylinder printed with
San Lazaro, the dogs licking his sores,
my souvenir, one among the several saints.
© Steve Isham June 2006