Here he comes,
Dragging a bellyful of broken bricks,
Howling a racket from a sack of moldy bagpipes.
Mouth full of boiled rat; heart holed with singularities.
One leg grinding boulders; others iron rusting in a bog.
Fat, asthmatic. Hips blown rolodexes, congealed in frozen motor oil.
Tacking his leaky rowboat with a useless rubber spoon.
Thus do mighty warriors slide in age
Across a battlefield of bleeding back lane gravel.
Ancient. Ugly. Rheumy. Milk eyed. Wheezing a holed squeezebox.
Staggering from one wooden leg to another,
Unsuccessfully, for halfway to us he collapses,
Dead or resting is hard to tell.
When we finish loading the half ton
He winches himself up with his best leg and barks
“Slap on the greaves lubbers!”
But we are gone by the time he gets there
And he’s left biting afterimages,
Deprived of all flesh save in the fevers of his imagination.