Unemployment (3)

Out of cash, out of well-fitting trousers,
Out of soap and apples,
Out of pencils, out of my keeper’s
Reach.

I wish to set myself afire
But may not. This morning
(Last night) in the common room
I watched the administration
Of oxygen to one who had none

And I would not sit down, demanding
To do so.

Later I happened on a man
At the piano, and though I have happened five or six times
On men at the piano,
None moved his hand like this
Within the keys.

I sat beside him, looking for a sound
A chest sound. Not listening; I don’t listen
Anymore. I make music
But I don’t listen.

More Poems by Mark Levine