Messenger

Photo from WikapediaMessenger

 

the sad sight of you

jarred me from my routine

long black legs easing up into auburn haunches

wispy ginger tail swaying lazily

a painter’s sable brush

dipped in titanium white

 

trotting along the curved roadside

between the projects

railroad tracks and the Lehigh river

 

too much of man on either side

and in between

and underneath

squeezing the wild in

and out

 

you moved like an insecure teenager

wanting to be free, invisible

while acting casually outrageous

exposing your rowdy intentions to every passing car

an old rebel, flashing

or crazy with rabies

 

you slowed as I slowed

crossed the road to reach me

a hitchhiker hoping for a ride outta here

freakishly human

your glance asked me to do something

anything

to help

 

pausing amid the hillside garbage

plastic bags, soggy mattresses, broken television sets

torn clothing, and chewed up shoes

 

no longer defiant but proud

 

an elegant gentleman

surrounded by pointless waste

heartbreaking, tender

unnaturally vulnerable

 

staring at me

unmasked