I wasn’t there that night. And if I was, I didn’t know. Not
that they were drinking, you hear things sometimes,
it’s only now I realize they did something wrong.
I had no idea what was going on, anyway everyone
I saw there left me out of it because
I wasn’t there. Not that night.
As far as that woman goes, I wouldn’t know. I never
knew her and if I’d known her I wouldn’t have
thought about her much because if a woman’s
a friend’s, you forget her.
You forget your friends too, those guys, for instance. I’ve never seen
them before and, because I don’t know who they are,
I don’t know where they were that night.
But things just happen at your place and mine,
in the homes of complete strangers, things
happen in places you’ve never been to.
Maybe it was a planter.And that planter fell
horizontally on her face and fairly hard and
maybe more than once perhaps but
people talk so much, it was a
remarkably dark night.
I remember I was home in bed where
I was and looking out and thinking
it’s not often you see such
a deep black.
Wake them up at the start of the night
and ask for dreams.
If they say they haven’t had any yet because
you’ve woken them up: slap.
If they start to cry, stroke their hair until they think
of their mothers. Then say their mothers
aren’t coming anymore.
If they rest their heads on their arms, keep quiet
for a long time.When they fall asleep,
wake them up and ask for dreams.
If they tell you their dreams, listen and explain that things like that
don’t exist.Then move on to the order of the day.
Then start again from the beginning.
Put them in the exercise yard and make the sound of a gunshot.
Practice until you can hit a slow pigeon in flight
just over their heads, and have them
bury the pigeon.
Or turn them over onto their backs and draw their outline
on the mattress with a marker and make them
stand up to look at themselves.
Ask them if the outline reminds them
of anyone. Ask them who.