by Felix Jung

Every day to work I pass the same
crazy man, standing sentry near
the Wells Street bridge. He plays
a battered, black guitar, singing
as he shuffles in a pair of blood-red
shoes. He's never begged a dime
from me, contented in his tuneless
melodies, a song that barely drifts
above the drone of morning traffic.

His guitar is missing strings.
His laceless shoes flop sloppily,
a pair of tongues, two open jaws.

I've seen him leaning on the rails,
watching both the boats and silent
businessmen pass by. On rare
occasions, someone leaves a coin
or cigarette. How interminable his
days must feel: the same bridge,
the same people, the same song,
enveloped by a city whose inhabitants
drift by, incapable of singing along.

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