Do you have any change?

After Hanif Willis Abdurraqib

I get confused if I’m not underground,
lost in the turmoil of sanity centered balance.
Tranced in the known of what everyone knows,
and I know.
I know…

Life touches us in subjective forms,
unknown to our best friends and lovers and mothers.
I stand between Ebenezer place and Rundle Street

And the man wheeling a push bike
and his cart of cans and bottles asks me for change,
And I respond by saying something
I might say in a poem. “Change only comes from the inside”
And he says “no” 

And I say
“If I had any change within my pockets
would it mean more to the world around me?”
And I look at the dismal sky evolving into a black decay of spacious sanity.
and I am in the basement of my mind’s den.
where reality and fantasy co-exist.
and dreams are not just dreams and the man asks me what I see and I say
“A world where anything is possible” 

And the sky turns dark,
Dark enough to fit my imagination for change
And I see everyone I’ve ever missed or longed for in the grey clouds
ashing over the specs of light, refining the hope I’d have to see them…

And I see him walking off, looking for change, bothering other people…
And I know,
I know…

That even he will see a sky lit up with loved ones.
That always makes us believe we are not alone
As if that is a mirage society and history painted together, 

To make us believe in the remnants of dreams,
To make us think the work we do here will not easily be undone
And I look up to the sky and there are no clouds left

And I wonder where the ones I long for are dreaming 
My uncle who raised me like a father
The girl I loved for years that never gasps or says anything to me 
Or the father I never had 
Is he watching down on me 
Waiting for me to fill shoes he never stepped in 

And the lights fickle out 
And I see Jimmy
I remember his name and every time we’ve crossed paths 
And he comes back to me pushing his bike with his cart of cans 
And I want to ask him to look up to the sky, I want to know if he can see it

And he comes up to me,

And he asks me…

“Do you have any change?”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: