They are seldom racing cyclists
and are largely innocent
of the working of the petrol engine.
They are, however, comfortable in taxis.
They are abroad in the small hours
and will seek out the caustic blue liqueur
that you purchased in Majorca
for comedy reasons, and will rise late.
There are whole streets
where their work is not known.
a father in the army
and the distance to the next farm
made them solitary.
were given elaborate funerals.
No one understands them.
They are inordinately proud of this
for they have shunned
of the post room
and the hair salon.
They write a word
and then another word.
It is usually wrong.
Their crossings out are legion.
They sit in trains
and pass through cotton towns at nightfall,
conscious of the shape of cranes
on the violet sky
and how the poured creamer
pleats and billows in their coffee,
and how both of these things
whisper, softly, "Death."