Witness

Because the dark suit is worn it is worn warm
    with a black tie
and a kiss at the head of the stairs

When you hear the dark suit rip
on the heart’s curb the hurt is big
     rose flesh caught on the orange woman’s buttons

As you talk metropole monotone
                  antique intelligence
as you dress wounds by peyotl looming the boulevards
women hunt their children from you
who look out
                  lit still inside of a dark suit

Philip Lamantia, “Witness” from The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia. Copyright © 2013 by Philip Lamantia. Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.
Source: The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (University of California Press, 2013)
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