White whiskers rooted above the trumpet player's lips;
his body moves like a sci-fi parasite, as he spits out songs
at the big bellied, Skecher-chic, boardwalk children.
The kids give a moment's interest before passing by like
armored flies, if armor were cheap cotton shirts and
Sooner or later, the sunset meets the brim of his hat.
It's a mystery as to the speed of the trumpet dropping
from his lips to its case, but you'd have to find someone
who cares about those types of things.
His brown, leather, Payless feet jut outward; away from
one another and towards American stores reflecting themselves:
Italian restaurant, Thai restaurant, Car Insurance, Dollar Store.
Quicker than you'd think, his denim hips are clamped by
the wooden arms of a misplaced deck chair, relocated to
a dining table as small and low-income as the man who
saw the dreamlike orange and purple sky drift away
behind the cemetery gray blanket of smoke, rising from
a fractured ground littered in mud-bathed, leaking bodies.
When the night has only begun to settle in, the man's
thick hands carefully adjust her picture, for he fears
the paleness of his fingers will leave more of a residue
than he is accustomed to.
Kept within the copper and green borders, she has
only begun life; twenty-three and never having to apologize,
there is still so much left to the imagination; her olive grey
cheeks are sided to his eyes, ready to be jammed with
baby, mommy, and daddy fragments of windshield;
waiting for the last embrace of a sturdy steering wheel;
her hair still dry and not dampened by insides coming out
or the flying weaker-than-you-think half-gallon of whole milk
that covered -- or washed, depending on your attitude -- the
back of her fifty-three year old head; the eggs fortunately
missing twelve times, hitting what was left of the windshield,
leaving an image comparable to the wall of a bar that not only
has a dartboard but also a man with terrible aim or who had as
much alcohol as the man who slipped his car into Margaret
and Joseph's life.
Joseph looks away from her picture, as his glass eyes begin
to shatter. Running fat palms and bulbous fingers through
the white, over grown lawn on his scarred scalp,
he says her name three times before retiring to the mattress
Margaret picked out.