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Michael Lee Johnson
No One is Here

I walk in a poem
late at night that sings no sober song,
no lyrics for the living,
toss in a few lines for the dead.
It fetters my anger
with hostility and sticky jam between
my toes and worn out shoes.
I find myself walking 2300 Western
Avenue in Chicago at 3 A.M. like a damn dummy;
thinking of Mayor Daley's sales tax proposals,
lack of health care in this country unlike anywhere else
free in the world,
and some boxers who shoplifted some goods
out of Marshal Fields department store earlier
in the evening-
no one is here to spit at me,
to fist my face in brick,
or steal my wallet silly,
or my car keys or jiggle coins
out of my jean pockets.
Disgusting, it hangs,
it beats metal drums in my ears
Over and over, like a pistol going off.
Loneliness is an elbow plunged
in one's ribcage at night.
I get in my car, bruised,
go home-
wait for God,
sprinkle prays
for the fairy dust
of healing.
Go about, the next day,
my crusades for the world.
No one is here.




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