For what may I laugh? The house doesn’t laugh. I know the road isn’t funny; and neither loneliness nor languor tickles. For what doesn’t stay still itself and yet who knows what object abstracted doesn’t keep to some point, an illogical thing? For what is a smile? I don’t see lips on cars, nor spreading in shadows, nor on the feet of passers-by; and there are many things, even to ease my pride, I wouldn’t kiss. I wouldn’t smile for an excuse, nor kiss a hurt to make it well, saying with a laugh, I’ll survive, such irresponsible sounds, not the words I know, that sound least like laughter, less than apathy and patience, and not happiness nor light relief. The night doesn’t laugh when it finds itself asleep, and yearning to be free isn’t frivolous, but sane, the way I remain alive, living being my object at times.

August 1972