Joe, I think
I heard his name called at the station
leaning against the post of a rotten frame
a wet cigarette dangling from the crumbling flesh.
Joe, a voice inside echoed
as if a stick figure something like an arm moved
holding a can of the cheapest brew he could afford
he spat black tar to the wind.
Content in the fumes of a gasoline pump
Joe, the young man carrying the weight of centuries
everyday idle as if it were a choice
a meaning lost in the smogs of dying dawns.
The face engulfed in a greying bush of wild curls
eyes sunken in a vain attempt to escape
the view of a sunset far too distant
dreams drawn in an old schoolboy’s notebooks.
He rides his old wheels from one corner to the next
braving wind, sleet and hurricanes
the fading butt in the terrified beak
he barely remembers when he drove the rusty truck.
A skeleton, barely a reminder of the man he once was
eaten by smoke, bad beer and the disintegration of his hopes
he still smiles when answering the question of his purpose
Joe replies: “It’s a living, ain’t it?”