Tell this cardboard box to shut his mouth:
a sobbing beggar sits as a corner's statue
with his carpet made of pavement and his speech of rapid heartbeats;
this soldier is the unseen screaming at sterling dreams
lost in a culture war of man versus political machine.
Tell this man to turn his eyelids against a changing tide
and the smoky infidelities of a future's place in time
for a martyr for the dollar bill and the greed inside the crime scene.
He is no excuse for mistakes and accidents:
no different from the gray suit posing in the window panes
or the widow modeling a partial smile in her sleep
or the child whose tantrums echo the text on the TV screen;
no different from the father that bleeds blue and the mother that bleeds wine,
the sister in her hospital bed, the choke and the breath of a hero near death
as he watches his life flash before his swollen eyes.
Tell this man that a veteran of history and space can share a name and a secret,
a tarred path to believe in and a girl whose mind reads
and shudders at the same performed lines behind the podiums and blinking traffic lights.
Tell this man that his prayers are of mine, insignificant claims for
mortality, life, cash, self-prescribed happiness
and a cardboard box whose hungry, open mouth still remains,
feeding and teething on the machine's back pocket,
and the faded black wallet that gleams in city sunlight,
reminding our sobbing beggar of what could have been.