I watched him from my car window.

I’m waiting for the light to turn green.

He stands there, motionless,

armed with a paintbrush

dripping noiselessly

on the yellowing grass.

Pointing toward Heaven,

the brush releases

a pale gray river.

It trickles downward

cautiously charting

unexplored territory

this side of Elbow Hill.

A Camel has attached itself

to his sagging lower lip.

Searing smoke rises leftward

entering that tunnel to his mind.

He blinks

and a dried up river bed

collects the withered tear.

The light is about to change.

I’ll be free to go.

Inhaling deeply,

he puts down the brush.


I leave him chipping away


at all the years of

peeling paint.paint