Tony the Trader
Tony goes inside not to hide
but to misbehave.
No danger there to squirrels
and the like.
He settles in, shoeless and sure,
empties his pockets and takes a bow
but before latching the window
he reaches out and pulls in a cloud
the size of a cup,
tips it back
and drinks a yard beyond his mother's wishes.
He swishes, spins, stops, sits down
cross-legged on a carpet, 4 by 6
and signed in the weave;
he stacks his goods with soft precision,
fooling himself with false division
for practice, he practices
a cloud break in a thunderclap
shakes him to the derelict day; erect,
he jots a note and a name
a column of names.
The cloud passes and a shadow appears
beneath his scribbling hand.
blessed with a memory
blistered and febrile,
he releases himself to the street
to trade jade for knuckles--
he swaps jade beads for pigs knuckles
till the morning light cancels the night.