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., www.boaeditions.org.

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

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Louis Simpson 1923–2012

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.