after Veronica Volkow
He touches his knuckles, hard as tin cans,
shiny tin cans clanking against the bottom of his bindle,
against one another for decades;
he looks at the day stabbed with sunlight,
cold, crisp looks,
expressions moving, straying,
seductive smiles of women,
pompous smiles of passing men.
The day goes on and people travel place to place
and water runs dry from the cracked fountain,
the water has long left the rusty pipes,
abandoned the thought of its overused well,
and has outlived no one,
like certain birds, like certain fish, like certain people.
He glances at the trash people leave behind,
trash on the stoops, sidewalks, roads,
half-drunk beer cans and half-smoked joints that litter the town,
polluted lanes, sickened,
waiting, anxiously, for another to care.
Winner of the Bauerly-Roseliep Scholarship for literary excellence, Jacob Butlett holds a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. His work has been published or is forthcoming in many journals and magazines, including The MacGuffin, Word Fountain, Lunch Ticket, Into the Void, Fterota Logia, Gone Lawn, Outrageous Fortune, Cold Creek Review, The Shallows, and plain china.