On an Intersection by the Freeway

“I specialize in marketing,”
he says,
a sigh betraying his fatigue.

“And I sell—
let’s just say I sell—brownie points,
or—that feel-good factor.
You know, conscience credits.”
This time, a wink.

“In a sense,
you can call me an entrepreneur-errant,”
he mumbles,
his snicker barely restrained.

“Appearance and dress—
they’re of utmost importance
in my line of business.
UT-most im-POR-tance.
An itinerant capitalist like me
can’t look like any other bum off the streets.”
Now, a furtive twitch of the eye.

“Still, my clients need to retain
some semblance of superiority,”
he muses,
“I’ve got to look shabby enough
so nobody wonders.”

He absentmindedly scratches his scraggly beard,
gazing wistfully to his right.
you don’t look too much like the giving type.
I’d best be going.”

“If you ever need my services, drop by.
Anything’ll do: a few quarters,
spare change in the cupholder.”

And with that,
he lopes off to the next car,
change bucket and cardboard sign in tow:
the ultimate peripatetic consumerist.

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