His body hung on him as awkwardly
as his institutional clothes,
his eyes glazed like pots,
scabs of bad falls crusting his cheeks and brow.
He stared through the periscope of his soul
at God knew what petrifying Gorgon
or Sphinx, with its insistent riddle.
He held out a hand flapping
like the wing of a wounded bird.
I bought him off with some guilty silver,
and he pushed himself off, tied together
with the chafing strings
of our judgments and charity,
unable to solve any riddle,
already turning to stone.