Cold morning

down at the self-service gas station

saw him in the trash cans

rummaging for 20c bottles

& all I had in my pocket

was two dollars in change

I thought I’d give that over

quiet to him here you go

& as I passed it

he said in Spanish

necesito café (I need coffee)

sure I said sin alboroto (no fuss)

waving goodbye ok ‘dios

as he tried to pull me in close

by the hem of my coat

I retreated back to my car quick

no he comido nada desde esta mañana

(I haven’t eaten this morning)

he was calling out to me

but I had no more to give

adding lame halting

hecho lo que puedo hombre

(the job is done my friend)

& drove away

leaving him to the trash cans

the cold

& wondering if i could’ve

done better there

feeling both of us had lost somehow

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