He shuffled by, jeans grazing the sidewalk
I caught a whiff of
part bottle of cheap wine,
part bloody confrontation from
last night, carved on his cheek
As his garbage-bag suitcase thumped behind,
he spat in the gutter.
DTs setting in, he twitched
in a crooked gait, a gurgle
singing from deep in his gut.
Before I could stop him to offer a breakfast,
he vanished through a paint-shredded doorway.
My mom would’ve said,
“His porch light’s flickering.”
© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For The Sunday Whirl (with thanks to Brenda Warren for assembling the Wordle and Mike Patrick for the words): Gutter, flickering, twitched, vanished, crooked, bottle, bloody, gurgle, sidewalk, thump, carved, caught. Also at my poetic touchstone, Poets United.