Sunday, July 14, 2019

DENISE LEVERTOV - “People At Night”

A night that cuts between you and you
and you and you and you
and me : jostles us apart, a man elbowing
through a crowd.          We won’t
                  look for each other, either-
wander off, each alone, not looking
in the slow crowd. Among sideshows
                  under movie signs,
                  pictures made of a million lights,
                  giants that move and again move
                  again, above a cloud of thick smells,
                  franks, roasted nutmeats- Or going up to some apartment, yours
                  or yours, finding
someone sitting in the dark:
who is it really? So you switch the
light on to see: you know the name but
who is it ?
        But you won’t see. The fluorescent light flickers sullenly, a
pause. But you command. It grabs
each face and holds it up
by the hair for you, mask after mask.
                  You   and   you and I   repeat
                  gestures that make do when speech
                  has failed          and talk
                  and talk, laughing, saying
                  ‘I’, and ‘I’,
meaning ‘Anybody’.
                            No one.

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