The Stranger

Looking as I’ve looked before, straight down the heart

of the street to the river

walking the rivers of avenues

feeling shudder of the caves beneath the asphalt

watching the lights turn on in the towers

walking as I’ve walked before

like a man, like a woman, in the city

my visionary anger cleansing my sight

and the detailed perceptions of mercy

flowering from that anger


if I come into a room out of the sharp misty light

and hear them talking a dead language

if they ask me my identity

what can I say but

I am the androgyne

I am the living mind you fail to describe

in your dead language

the lost noun, the verb surviving

only in the infinitive

the letters of my name are written under the lids

of the newborn child.

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