48.1 - Winter 2019

Page 109



And when the last one falls, claim his hat, backpack, wallet. Claim the holy book scorched in his back pocket. Claim his blue jeans, shirt, the boots he wore for days, believing, even when his skin lost faith, quickly rotted, that his trek would soon end, and that where his face now melts would become, as if by fate, a stretch of highway, town, the edge of a parking lot where he and other men could wait, forget, as shadows of trucks serrate the pavement, the weight his feet felt, and how, when a man fell, heaved expired prayers on the ground, he’d stop and kneel, accept, like you and all the rest, what the body was compelled to pass down.

100 | PHOEBE 48.1