Size / / /

Twenty rotations

of this dusty planet—

no one's coming back

to this barren place.

A fixture on the corner

of an abandoned spaceport,

he has a hole in the left knee

of weatherproof pants.

Manet's ragpicker

embodied in shadowed eyes,

a walking stick in hand,

trash by his foot.

His overgrown beard

hides life sorrows

in the way of vagabonds

from inhabited spheres.

A dying world's value

borne in a shoulder sack

with no one else available

to shoulder the load.

Inspired by The Ragpicker by Edouard Manet, oil on canvas 1865, displayed in the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California

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