You are here

Spare Change

I was looking for drill bits when I came across a man on the sidewalk
Spare any change, He said
Spare? That’s for car tires and teenagers, I said
But hey, I have a map with directions
To the place where the sun stopped rising many moons ago

Spare any change, He said
Change? But change advanced us 3 paces sideways, I said
Into a reality loop where things are broken only when you try to fix them by being like everyone else
Now there’s no going back

He’s living on disability and needs help, He said
Well that makes us two, I told Him. I can’t find the drill bits and I’ve been looking everywhere

There was a bonfire
Never seen it, never felt the warmth against my palms But it raged as fires do and burnt my memory
A bonfire of unwanted charities
I can remember birthdays, some of them. I can’t remember the words capitalism, fuse box
Until about 5 minutes after I need them

A friend told me to look forward
But I walk with my head down
So that I don’t fall over my own feet
So that I see the man on the sidewalk
Even though we can’t help each other

Not all panhandlers are homeless
Not all economies are reliable

The bonfire licked at my feet until my knees collapsed. Now I can’t run for the bus
I walked home slowly, counting footsteps and heartbeats
And I found the drill bits
They were secure in my head where I’d left them
Squeezing tight like a gorilla’s hug
I’ll never lose them