The phoebe-birds, out-of-place
swing on their hanging-balsam feeders
like small pendulums, the season passing
into longer shadows with soft, glistening edges.
Stealing away behind the workshed, not among
the tall-blonde calamus but the wide-green
stag ferns, another silhouette joins his,
a day-laborer shaded from the oppressive forenoon.
Above their dark figures, the stale river pulsates
over the quick gasps and final, unified yawp.
Beyond the shoreline’s rounded bend
the fishermen pull from the murk their redfish catches.
Later, re-dressing, joyous beneath a live oak,
with bruised knees and elbows not wounded but contused
electric and the Spanish-moss strands
collecting in dusk’s pink song, he moves
shackle-less in his slumber along the bustle of wharves
to his room near the broad, pocked street,
those first few lines, those barbaric hours spent,
the caracara streaking-by for an unseen, distant point.