Unswathed by ends I begin to drink in
My desperate strolls past beer-battered bums
Whose outcast hands, blackened with grime, match mine
Which likewise are black with ink from the news
That isn’t news when life gets old, and beer
Is all that’s left to drink in from it.
The rhythm of the rain beats out of time
With the sounds from the speakers glued always
To ears — I rip them off like unhealed scabs
And the bloody cadence of the world hurts
But still I listen as it wipes away
The black news from my callused fingertips.
Theirs are callused too as they play guitar
And are reminded of how far they are
From me and those for whom the rain will wash
Predictably the darkest days away;
Their darkness, here to stay, soils the hands
That their borderline hope makes beg again.
And no one hears them singing out of tune
As the downpour floods the park where they sleep
And I return the buds to my changed ears
And return myself to unchanging days
While they wind the clocks of their world forward
Till they come upon another midnight.