I think I was on a balcony overlooking the whole thing. --Yusef Komunyakaa "April Fool's Day" No soon, no hard loan, no geometric woodwork to make you feel at home. No soap, no anonymous bourbon, no portrait or copy of a portrait painted by some writer or star or family member or any other-than-artist person. No short drop (you were fifteen floors up), no secret way out, no voice of self-hatred (which you are at least used to). No past tense. Sometimes no tense at all. Sometimes not even an all or nothing. Sometimes not even a real estate dream, not even a frame, not even a framework. A balcony but not a back kitchen porch. A woman hanging out her laundry but not hanging out. Railroad tracks and motor- cycle gang around the corner but not a ticket or a destination. Not even the sense of a weird dead end. Not a lemon or a sun. No children. No stories about children, no crooked arrow. No ghost named Leslie or Vallejo. No C. No M. No J.
From Unsleeping by Michael Burkard, published by Sarabande Books. Copyright © 2001 by Michael Burkard. Used with permission. All rights reserved.