And still nothing happens. I am not arrested.
By some inexplicable oversight
nobody jeers when I walk down the street.
I have been allowed to go on living in this
room. I am not asked to explain my presence
What posthypnotic suggestions were made; and
are any left unexecuted?
Why am I so distressed at the thought of taking
They are absolutely shameless at the bank——
You’d think my name meant nothing to them. Non-
chalantly they hand me the sum I’ve requested,
but I know them. It’s like this everywhere——
they think they are going to surprise me: I,
who do nothing but wait.
Once I answered the phone, and the caller hung up——
They think that they can scare me.
I am always scared.
And how much courage it requires to get up in the
morning and dress yourself. Nobody congratulates
At no point in the day may I fall to my knees and
refuse to go on, it’s not done.
I go on
dodging cars that jump the curb to crush my hip,
accompanied by abrupt bursts of black-and-white
laughter and applause,
past a million unlighted windows, peered out at
by the retired and their aged attack-dogs—
toward my place,
the one at the end of the counter,
the scalpel on the napkin.