Often you’ll see a solitary shoe
in an alley. Sometimes, a solitary
man—there’s seldom proof
he’s connected to that shoe.
A rye seed in his tooth,
he says, “There’s nothing
out there.” You notice a stain
on his shirt. He keeps his head
down. Like you, he’s no stranger
to the loneliest road, the road
Christ chose: its pavement cracked,
a whorehouse on every corner.
“Does it lead to the desert?” “It’s
all desert,” he replies. You ask
his name. “Dwight.” He asks
yours. For a moment, you don’t
remember, “There’s nothing
in here.” You are the solitary
shoe, the alley, the shirt stain,
the cracked pavement, the whore-
house, the desert, yes, you are the head
down, the Christ, the rye seed
stuck in His tooth.