I wake among remote dunes
when cold beach sand
ices my bones,
beard sparkles with frost.
The adopted Australian Shepard
who contributes body heat,
barks at unwanted intruders,
stirs, stiffly rises, stretches,
expects to be fed.
I panhandle what I can from commuters
paused at the freeway exit stop sign.
Score enough to purchase Red Bull,
dry kibble at the 7-11, then meander
to the wetlands gathering spot
where fellow homeless men,
shaken from coastal thickets by sunrise
congregate beneath a fallen willow.
We hoist a torn red tee shirt,
claim this bruised territory
our brief sanctuary
where we’ll bullshit, pass the bottle,
eventually pass out in the afternoon sun.