by Tuur Verheyde

A hermit wonders—
Where he’s been,
All these years.
He must have died alone.
He never had control.
He never sold
A soul he didn’t own.
Coins cover the eyes,
Not a single dime
Has reached his hand.
He never owned
Souls to sell.
The ones he found,
Were black as coal.
Rotted by lack of use.
They sold the world
Out from under Atlas,
Who held the heavens
On his bare shoulders.

A hermit was the sentinel
To an heirless homestead.
He was the paladin
Of polluted streams,
And painted alleys,
Cracked by
The acid rain.
A hermit became a hobo
who inherited
Scrapyards, gutters
Mazes of brick,
And tombs overrun with ivy:
A Necropolis of broken glass.
He peddles across
The muck, plastic and shit.
His oars carve
Into the rug of waste.
The levees broke
And sold the soil
To the seas.
He only sees souls adrift,
There is no other kind.
Not a root stays