Men of the Bottle

Bottles men are of.
Bottles men are of.

Strange things happen when the light

Begins to fade and illuminate the clouds

In such a way that they begin to glow,

Astounding colors sewing a patchwork

Behind their billowing folds.

Everyone is on the street because

There is only one street to be had

And everyone must share it:

The children with their volleyballs,

The women with plastic strollers abound,

And of course the men of the bottle.

They are easy to spot: Usually much darker,

Charred by countless hours spent in the sun,

Swaying about as if the earth

Were shuddering underfoot,

One eye lazier than the other and a grip

That could match that of a titan.

Some will stop and say hello, like

The basketball coach who keeps the bees

And gives some coin to able hands,

Or perhaps relatives speeding by

On motorcycles on their way back home

With nothing to give as they spent

Their last savings on eggs and gasoline.

If it is too cold, they vanish with the wind,

But where they go is a mystery to most:

Some say they have home to return to,

But those who do not find passageways

That burrow underground and hide

Like marmots on the steppe.

They fade away with the summer sun,

And in the darkness they will stay

For the lamps along the lane glow not

To illuminate the way for travelers

Who do not pass through the town anyway,

But should they ever change their mind,

The thought would surely be appreciated.

Composed 07/24/12

Author’s note: When it is pitch black and you’re walking home, your path only guided by the stars, your senses sharpen, and stories begin to form in your mind.

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