Words wearing rag-covered needs,
words chanting ambiguous hurts,
words hurled against passing flesh
solemnize the drag of broken feet
by a big and broken man
over the broken street.

Words stained, words coiled,
words wrapping mangled limbs
extend grief in rhymes to strangers.

Words begging, words prostituting,
words with hard heels click
in quick tautological tunes
of the beggar’s stick
tapping against brick.

Metal money tossed
into the tin cup
strikes bottom
with the metallic response
of alms ricocheting
in foraging footnotes
to the beggar’s riposte,
“Thank you. God bless you.”