INQUEST: A MISSING PERSON
Poetry ends up being about loneliness
often sitting alone with the sun going down
black coffee for the recovering alcoholic
two hours on the bus and two to go. ...
When will he call? I’m expecting a call.
The good-looking young guys have a glow
reading The Wall Street Journal on the train
downtown, maybe they have wives or lovers
who straighten those dimpled ties just so
under the dimpled chins, planting a kiss
near the ear: "Have a good day" "You too"
(And calling after him, "I love you.")
Lives dreamlike pass everything forgotten
waking on a weekend morning beside
the sleeping other who loosened my tie.
A moment ago I was twenty-two stirring
a cup of coffee...how did I get here?
Moments I remember and some others, no
blindly as if blacked out by alcohol. ...
Is it the same for everyone—oceans of time?
Ask me anything. I can tell you the color
of carpets, of sheets and towels. I have awakened
by the side of the highway still drunk.
Is it reality I cannot bear, or my own irksomeness?
Mysteries are other people, other people's lives,
and I am no sleuth, I don't see the clues
and I am my own mystery
self-indulgent and un-self-knowing.
A person has been reported missing.
At the inquest I was not under suspicion,
not even "a person of interest," naturally.
It had not yet been determined
if a crime had been committed.
Well, no, a crime was committed
when you left me. I'm cooperating.
I'll tell them everything they want to know.
Daniel reads "Inquest: A Missing Person":
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Daniel confesses: "'Inquest' is the more lighthearted of my two Five-Two poems so far: the feeling of the abandoned lover that "a crime was committed" when his lover left him."