The Panhandler

Hey man, says the guy with the patchy beard
And patchier hoodie.
I’m stranded down here. Ran outta fuel.
Craziest thing.
Can you spare, like, eleven bucks? For a hotel?
I’m short.

I shrug. Sorry. I don’t have any cash on me.
Hardly ever, anymore.
He smiles and ducks his head, holds up a thick
Gloved hand.
It’s okay, man, he says. Sorry to bother.
You’re cool.

He turns away with a smooth pivot,
A quick rotation
And inches down the sidewalk,
Head low.
To his patchy, sharp-angled spaceship
By the dumpster.

I had an encounter very similar to this one. The conversation is accurate, or as accurate as you may expect a conversation translated into a poem to be. The task for sorting out which part isn’t real I leave to you, though it may not be the part you think it is!