Midnight Without Sunglasses (after Frank O’Hara)

It’s March and
you can’t find your sunglasses, but
it doesn’t matter because the sun isn’t
shining. It’s midnight and you’re awake
and you don’t know why, but the moon
is out and smiling and the street lights are on
and it all makes you wish you had your sunglasses.
Frozen in time, the world passes
you by: stripped cars, rusted bicycles
and pedestrians all still
awake in your city of tilted dreams.
You light
your cigarette and wish
you had had the foresight
to buy beer; You see a man with a paper
bag in hand and you’re jealous. He saunters
by as the buildings rumble
with television sets, so ablaze
you can feel their electricity
from outside on the stoop.
You suddenly think
of Salinger and everything he never
published; you think of Vonnegut
and that he produced literally millions of words. You
figure you’ll situate somewhere in
the middle ’cause you want to write but
not too much.
to brilliance searching you,
waiting to hear what its rhetoric describes
and you’re on the stoop, now designing
poetry like Frank O’Hara without a subject,
digging through the memories
of the day to fill
lines. Your tongue is sore.
your open mind, the words
come shifting, drifting inside your limitless
desires and then you’re climbing the broken
stairs two by two until you’re through
the cage door to your hole of an apartment.
You’re finished with your cigarette so
you light another one
but the smoke makes you cough. You’re
over it quickly though, inhaling
and exhaling the same until it’s almost gone.
You stamp
it out swiftly, and drift into
the kind of sleep one receives
at midnight without their sunglasses.

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