Augury

There’s a street prophet singing songs of sorrow
about the coming of the end of the world
and we know he’s right and somehow holy
with his guitar and coins thrown in pity
he looks like Marlon Brando or Killer Mike
and I can’t tell the difference in this light
His words are all Joe Strummer; the ring
of his acoustic guitar
with the stickers and the battered frets
a counterpoint to his tapping toes
I clutch the ticket – one way out of here –
as I wait for the train. The melody he plays
a stark reminder of the earth in crisis
humanity unredeemed as we destroy our home
My train is late and I’ll ride to the end of the line
a thousand miles away
haunted all the way by this seer of visions
His clothes are tattered as mine
torn and grubby from life’s infinitesimal tremors
I think I see or imagine, a catch in his voice
or a tear in his eye, diviner of decrepit humanity
We share a glance, both heading the same way
to some unknown destination
anywhere but here
the echoes of his chorus my companion into the night

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