Too Dark Inside

He made his bed and lay on it
beside the bus stop seat
at Forty-eighth and Elliot
with a blanket, empty packages,
and some books
waiting in a stack for time
to be opened up and studied. He was returning
from the drug store
when he read on a stranger’s T-shirt
words from Groucho Marx: Outside of a dog
a book is man’s best friend
and opened conversation with a smile
that obscured his homelessness
as he bent to read the rest:
Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
He was a walking happiness
returning light of step
to his few belongings, which no one
had disturbed while he
was away, full of unused conversation
as the world grew small
around him and remained too dark inside
to read between the lines
around his eyes
the history of how he came to live
where he sleeps beneath
a blanket of stars.

David Chorlton has lived in Phoenix since 1978. He grew up in England with watching soccer as a major part of life although he has managed to move on to other interests since then, including reading and writing poetry. Read other articles by David.