Hunger

Some of the men cry, and many of the women
Make impossible devotions. Some others
Who are neither men nor women go about
Their work invisibly — or else, becoming.
And behind a wall the gymnast (having managed
To balance for a very long moment the spectators’
Fear of falling) thinks he sees a spinning wheel
And fire in the eye of a monster. The world
Is like this, he says, there is no need
For prophesy — it is all here.

Watching this trick was a man in the doorway
Now turning to leave and covered with sun.
I notice his quiet walk — the way he steps
On his shadow’s toe, lifting a foot and balancing
There each step in the light like a wire artist,
That close to the edge. Out in the streets
You can see if you look, the Hunger presents
Himself like a man in black suit and bow-tie;
A noble savage who’d rather dress than eat.