Black and White

The truth is a thousand voices
On the stairs fronting St. Paul’s
In London,
Except it is early morning
And I woke in the youth hostel
Because of the traffic and because
I stop breathing 14 times an hour.
I remember having to force myself to get up.
I had promised myself that I would read poetry
In public.
As I sat there in shorts and T-shirt
And some guy was throwing shopping carts
At a metal garbage can,
I read my poems to an occasional car,
A passerby, here and there,
But never at a volume any of them could hear.
I fulfill my promises in private
I sleep alone
I stay up until early morning
And I live my life
In black and white.


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