After Midnight

By Louis Simpson 1923–2012 Louis Simpson
The dark streets are deserted,   
With only a drugstore glowing   
Softly, like a sleeping body;

With one white, naked bulb   
In the back, that shines   
On suicides and abortions.

Who lives in these dark houses?   
I am suddenly aware   
I might live here myself.

The garage man returns
And puts the change in my hand,   
Counting the singles carefully.

Louis Simpson, “After Midnight” from The Owner of the House: New Collected Poems 1940-2001. Copyright © 2003 by Louis Simpson. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.,

Source: Collected Poems (BOA Editions Ltd., 1988)

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Poet Louis Simpson 1923–2012

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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