A Beggar’s Body


                   A Beggar's Body

                     (On a photograph by Garry Winogrand; “Los Angeles, California, 1969”
                                  Originally Published in Red Fez)

Consider my unseen face

set against Hollywood Boulevard. 

In a day belonging to the beautiful,

three window-shopping women saunter by.


Set against Hollywood Boulevard,

I slouch in my wheelchair. 

Three women in elevated pumps saunter by 

my beggar’s cup squeezed between my legs.


I slouch forward, mouth muzzled   

alongside the windowpanes of The Walk of Fame.

My cup begs for a squeeze of compassion. 

I rolled over the stars, now roofed in shadow


alongside the reflections of The Walk of Fame

where the women glance 

upon my Parkinson’s body. I’m roofed in black 

as their shadows sway over concrete blocks.


The women glance upon a body of recoil.

On a street heavy with rich red lipstick,

shadows sway through the mobility of hips.

Will they remember a degenerative life?


Ma’s rich red lipstick kissed my forehead 

in a day belonging to memory 

dissolving within my degenerative mind.

Ghost neurons never consider an unseen face.

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