The Lonely Empire


The man was nothing special.
His shoes of tanned leather bore
The same weary wrinkles
That the unforgiving pavement provides for all.

The black canvas bag slung over one shoulder,
A nonchalant messenger,
Had seen better days and greater adventures.
It smelled of old apples,
Overripe and sickly sweet.

A gray checkered suit, bought secondhand,
Maybe spoke of men of greater girth,
Whose weightiness may still be sensed
In the cloth draped in folds about his middle.

Concrete city, steel gray sky, and death
Lies in between.
Eyes both sullen and serene, stare —
Shrunken windows of sugarcane glass.