Him and His Self-Taught Smile

June 16, 2017
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He was a walking uniform of ideas
from his self-taught smile to his bleached blonde hair,
from the wave of his hand to the length of his pants.
He laughed with nerves
and problems that weren’t noticeable.
He smelt of flowers and something sad,
he talked in metaphors with a deep southern accent,
he was browned eyed apart from the occasional black.
Height varied depending on the day,
Monday meant shoulders bent-
six foot.
Tuesday-Friday meant head held high-
six foot two inches.
And Saturday, Sunday-
Height wasn’t measured on those days.
He drank his coffee black-
some said that was the color of his soul,
others said he didn’t have one.
But I spoke of his soul being hidden.
Deep meaningful stares into deep pits of nothing.
His self-taught smile only seemed to shine the brightest
on Tuesday's,
it was beautiful,
he was beautiful.
‘You smiled today.’ ‘Only on this day.’
His attendance and attention were always a comment of good things,
he never missed a day and was always alert.
His uniform was always pressed and his shoes polished,
but always a red spot lingered
he never noticed
and I didn’t have the heart to tell him.
‘Tell me something meaningful.’ ‘I’ve seen death.’
He always had a scratch or two,
I spoke of thorns, people spoke of knife’s
he thought of roses, always.
‘Something you miss?’ ‘My mother’s long lost smile.’
He never spoke unless spoken to.
He never hugged, never touched anyone.
‘Lost?’ ‘Dead.’
Death was the only time I saw black,
black was second nature to him.
From the frown he held on Monday’s
I knew he talked to his friends, past and present,
he never got along with future.
On Thursday’s he whistled,
louder and louder each step he took towards home.
Oddly home looked bleak and abandoned
like a graveyard at night.
He talked about roses like they were people
as if they had a notion of what feelings were.
They did not but he thought so.
He spoke with death and whispered about life.
He spoke of big plans
never seemed to reach any of them
he never complained.
‘Why only on Tuesday’s?’ ‘On this day I remember who I lost.’

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