Lazarus

His eyebrows moved like seesaws
over wet and bloody bulbous eyes.
When he spoke,
the lips would stretch wide,
so you saw the
back of his tongue.
His darkness
made his teeth
seem to float.

He worked the middle
of the sidewalk,
always walking.
Moving, not stopping.
He’d shift his weight
bringing his body
into the path of each walker,
his face closely tilted into other faces.
His long arms,
well defined, slim,
stretched above his head,
moved in independent funnels,
then returned to his side,
swaying back and forth.
I’m just like Lazarus,
just like him.
Back from the dead,
that’s me!
Nickel or a dime,
what you can spare
you can spare!
I’ll pray for you, mister,
I’ll pray, cause hey, man,
I’m like Lazarus!

I saw one man
almost knock another over
just to go around.
I stopped,
put a hand in my pocket.

You’ll be saved, Mister!
Saved!
Because Jesus watches,
Jesus knows!
He can see you
inside!

I brought out three coins,
all that I had just then,
a dime, a nickel, a penny.

As he walked to my right,
he cupped my hand
from underneath,
and threw it in the air.

Behind me, the coins fell.
He began to shout again.

I’m just like Lazarus,
back from the dead.
Bread on my table,
joy on your soul,
I only ask for your love
and a little change.

– John LeMasney

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