The Writer


Can you spare some change?
he says to the scavenger
feeding off the bone marrow
threading connections with paper truths
selling memories

Those eyes have seen walls
hung with portraits and stolen voices
absorbed in paint
matched to a swatch of prelude blue
fractured light shaped through lace curtains
like sliced lemons adorning plates and pitchers
bumping around with ice on picnic tables
the chimes of when children hung from tree limbs
and leaves gave voice to wind and whispers
laughter mixing with grilled smoke on a hazy sunken day

Sell the memories
when the moon rose and the sun fell
and the knees were skinned
shrouded in nights meant to erase
the anger and displacement, the wrongs never righted

I’ll spare you some change
spin an everlasting narrative
of redemption or hope
whatever you desire
and when you turn to ash
your words will live on
lingering in generations
mouthed until they rattle around in pockets
pass from hand to hand
scuff from time and air
groped and flipped

to rest in a fountain
like a galvanized wish
battered words
copper and nickel-plated
but I will give you the change
and you will give me your paper dreams
and the pen in my pocket
will bleed through each fiber
giving you new life
but it won’t be the truth
existing in the uncracked spine
where the glue meets the pages
sparing you change

an even trade
I say
for I am

-S. S. Hicks


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