we are the hollow men
deconstructions of gray. looking back
half in shadow, half in near light,
the large round moist eyes
weary from the chores of interrogation,
museum of missing suspects.
after the fact. reminiscenthere the light is softer, the eyes
of a mapplethorpe photo
of roy cohn late in life:
face and head sharp lit
in dark background, nearly
face worn and cratered, plagued
by the failure of years, eyes
opened wide with shock and haunting,
having seen too much,
learned too little.
softer, found in sadness, traced
the source of light not apparent, but
a recognition perhaps, the charge
of a question.
a suggestion of movement, or almost,
or not quite yet.
the same patchwork, the same haunting,
the same shell. school
as when the day's mail arrives.
as when an alarm sounds, and the room
empties, and a figure remains
listening to the echoes.
clouded day through the large windows.
the place where in the end all words
a look that says
it has happened before, nearby.
--after a photograph of Ron Silliman