Homeless Camp at the Beach’s Super Target
(My car nurses my warmed hands with its cold breath, I am refreshing myself, locking my doors, and looking out the windows in peace. A mother and child are holding onto each other, transferring strength through sweating palms.)
I hear the sounds of a million heated droughts.
A child-burdened mother’s throat is
tight, taut, scratched, wrung out/
dry for any blood that
sleeps in the curves
of her daughter’s bruised tongue.
I hear the dirt mudding itself to the child’s lower lashes.
Bedsheets strangled her thinning waist, clothing her; she, and her mother
stood, melting pavement ate ingrown toenails.
The pair are vanishing from my sight,
silent, slowly simmering/
boiling up in their weakening stomachs,
flushing the nearly forgotten, weeks old apple cores
out into sand fields—
out into empty hands no longer
holding kindness, passing lonely coins.
I hear the mother’s, the child’s
hungry guts wetting the droughts;
skin on skin on thin blankets on itching concrete,
harboring the wilting fine-boned bodies
aching for milk.