Traveling Salesman


I spent one summer as a traveling salesman
teaching and learning from characters.

Bar tops and elbows, neckties and briefcases.
I memorized different views of the same stars

sometimes tracing them home - each time throwing
my own light a bit further down the horizon.

Coming home was like finding spare change
in your favorite pair of jeans. I bought coffee

and the tab, toasted the names I’d never say again
and the ones I would. I learned to leave

parts of myself in places, to shrug
to smile and say “ha! No worries.”