THE WRITER

WHEN HE DIED I FOUND HIS SCRAPS OF PAPER
HE WROTE IN KITCHENS BY THE ROADWAY
THERE FATHER LOVED THE USELESS PEOPLE
COLLECTED FROM THE FLOWING TRASH BINS
LIKE A JUNKMAN HUNTING PEARLS IN RUSTED BEDSPRINGS
HE HOVERED OVER STEAMING SOUPBOWLS
AND DRANK THEIR TEARFUL STORIES IN
THEN LOCKED HIMSELF INSIDE HIS ROOM
HE PRAYED AND CRIED HIMSELF TO SLEEP
AMID THE WRECKAGE OF A THOUSAND LIVES
HE SCRIBBLED ALL THEIR STORIES DOWN
SO MAYBE ONE WOULD NOT FORGET