No One

Frank Praeger

Not depressed, just sad.
I am still, I am loud,
I laugh, contest – occasionally, even, parse.
Contentious speech waylays my wakefulness,
I can not muster, can not – what a phrase, what a
dismal outlook, can not.
Not and not reverberate,
dampen felt, dampen spell, displace Alice’s Looking Glass,
Alice looking at herself.
Big turns small, tame
and no one’s name is called,
no one reaches out his arms,
no one smiles,
no one cries,
and no one walks before or walks beside,
no one.
No one is bigger than they are,
sucking up the air
and they are not to be found,
not in the spaces between periods,
or after exclamatory events, after futile interrogations.
Where did the furies go?
Placated, humored, trifles trance-like staked out
replace the formidable.
No wobbly center,
no final take
but bachelor’s button, marigold, something that lingers,
or passing as rosemary’s scent,
as a shout arising out of a starred, windless night.

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